שאור ודבש

When we speak about קרבנות, there are certain general rules that apply to all sacrifices. One such rule mentioned in last week’s Parsha was that it was forbidden to put שאור, leaven, or דבש, honey in any קרבן.

Rabbeinu Bechaye says that one of the reasons for forbidding שאור and דבש, is that these two items were used in Pagan sacrifices. And we are not supposed to copy the ways of the Gentiles.

A more common reason for the שאור is that leaven as applies to חמץ, represents haughtiness and conceit. Similarly, the דבש, honey, is symbolic of seeking that which is sweet as represented by the יצר הרע, the evil inclination. We are to overcome our inclinations and make the right choices.

The Rambam mentions that regarding foods, the bitter is sweet and the sweet is bitter. He is referring to what is healthy and good for you. But the same applies to choices that we make.

The message of the קרבנות is that in order for them to take effect, they must come with the proper intent and humility. No שאור and דבש allowed!