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Reciting Korbanos

The second pillar that supports the world is avodah, Temple service. Transgressions are one of the primary reasons why we have difficulty concentrating during prayer (see Sources of Distraction). When we had the Beis Hamikdash we could offer sacrifices daily and cleanse ourselves of any sins.

To our great sorrow, we no longer have a Beis Hamikdash, and we cannot offer sacrifices. We long for its rebuilding daily, so that we can renew the exalted level of intimacy that we once enjoyed. What can we do in the interim to prevent our sins from disrupting our prayers?

Chazal have told us that reciting the Torah’s depiction of the sacrificial offerings is considered as if we are actually performing that rite (Taanis 27b). For this reason familiarity with the halachos pertaining to these sacrifices is important, for they can help us feel as if we were actually involved in making the offerings in the Temple.

Each morning and afternoon in the Beis Hamikdash, the Korban Tamid (the daily offering) was brought. Today the Temple is no longer standing, but we can still recreate this service by reciting the eight verses that describe it (Bamidbar 28:1–8). Since some opinions obligate women to recite the verses describing the Korban Tamid (Graz 47,10), it is praiseworthy if a woman can make time in her schedule to recite Parashas Tamid (Biur Halachah 47[end]).

Kindness Before Prayer

The third pillar that supports the world is gemilas chasadim, acts of kindness. One of the most powerful tools that a Jew has at his disposal is the Divine attribute of middah k’neged middah, Hashem’s measure for measure response to our actions. If we show kindness to others, He will respond in turn with kindness to us by answering our prayers.

In the morning one can generally find people in shul, and it is an opportune time to speak to people about tzedakah matters. Even though it is generally forbidden to involve oneself in other activities before prayer, one is allowed to collect tzedakah. Certainly, giving tzedakah is also permitted; moreover, it is a segulah that one’s prayers will be answered.

According to the Arizal, a person should give charity during the “Vay’varech David” passage right after the phrase, “v’haosher v’hakavod milfanecha” (and wealth and honor are before You). While saying the words which follow, “v’Atah moshel ba’kol” (and You rule over everything), he should set aside money for tzedakah (Mishnah Berurah 51,19). It is customary in some shuls to collect tzedakah during this time.

Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



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