Zevachim 90-91: Holiness v. Frequency

In the Mishna on 90B, the Talmud Zevachim states that certain sacrifices take precedence in bringing to the altar, ie chatas take precedence over asham (with exceptions of Metzora);eating the permissive parts of certain sacrifices take precedence over others etc.

The Talmud then presents a classic Talmudic and existential dispute. Should priority be given to things which are done “frequently” (Todir) or should priority be given to things which have greater ‘kedusha”-holiness.    Tha Talmud goes through various examples of trying to determine whether holiness or frequency takes precedence. It gives examples from Kiddush: does the blessing on the wine (frequency) come before the blessing of the sanctifying the Shabbos or opposite.  Does the rosh hashanna offering take priority  over the rosh chodesh?  The Talmud is struggling to find a pattern of holiness v. frequency.

The SD would like to put in a thought:  Ideally, our worship of Gd should be one big emotional, spiritual and ecstatic expression.  The reality is : spirituality, like life needs order to be properly expressed.   To properly serve gd in a spiritually  ecstatic state, requires rigorous knowledge of the Torah and text. It is hard to properly be ecstatic without knowledge and a sense of order.    The conflict of holiness v. frequency kind of mirrors this reality.  One can only enjoy the spiritual essence and tranquility of shabbos when one has worked hard all week in his job and “avodas hashem.”  One can only find true expression of spirituality within a framework of regularity, frequency and consistency.

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1 Response to Zevachim 90-91: Holiness v. Frequency

  1. Jonathan Field says:

    I think that’s key to make holiness an ongoing process not a transient fleeting epiphany. As always good job SD

    Sent from my iPhone


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