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March 18, 2022

Freeze Dried Vegetables (Tzav)

Every now and then, as humans, we do something that deserves “the walk of shame.”

I was recently sitting in my office, minding my own business, when all of a sudden, I started thinking about those instant Gefen Hot Soups. Thankfully, I had an unopened hot soup in my bag, and I decided to treat myself to a hearty snack. Of course, I added the freeze-dried vegetables to make the soup even healthier.

I filled up the hot soup with water. So far so good.

There was only one problem, though. I filled up the soup with cold water instead of hot water.

Houston, Dallas, wherever you might be, we officially have a problem! Everyone knows that you simply cannot fill up an instant hot soup with cold water. The noodles will not cook. This is physics 101. I officially had to take the walk of shame and spill it out.

This got me thinking: What in the world was I thinking when I filled up the instant hot soup with cold water? Perhaps, the answer is in the question: I wasn’t thinking. That was exactly the problem.  

I recently came across a quote, “To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.”

This week’s Parshah discusses the Korban Olah, the offering that is completely burned atop the Altar. Our Sages tell us that the קרבן עולה atones for מחשבה and הרהורי הלב – bad thoughts (see Kli Yakar).

Just like the קרבן עולה is burned entirely and is dedicated for Hashem, so too, when it comes to our thoughts, we are meant to take a lesson from the קרבן עולה and channel our thoughts and minds towards Hashem.

The notion of channeling our thoughts to Hashem may sound complicated, confusing, and unrelatable. But let us not let the Yetzer Harah convince us of this. We all have a brain, and we can choose what thoughts we focus on and what thoughts we do not focus on. Each one of us is able to channel our thoughts to holy matters, we just have to believe that it is possible.

We are encouraged to be thinkers, but not just any thinkers, rather, holy thinkers. This will help us feel more fulfillment and joy in our day to day lives, and it will also help in uplifting all of our actions.

Have a holy Shabbos! Ori Strum