|It's probably easy to be humble when you're being used as a|
What are the animals that can be brought as sacrifices? Doves and domesticated beasts, never animals of the forest. A domesticated animal which has been used in idol worship or has been used inappropriately can never be used. For while obviously the beast cannot itself experience haughtiness or pride, the point of bringing a sacrifice is for us to elevate ourselves, and that cannot be done with an animal which has been the focus of what would in us discourage humility.
|No, they weren't about to be schechted. We were selecting the|
one with the best fleece for the day's use ;)
Olah sacrifices themselves could be brought for not having successfully performed a positive commandment (for something as simple, say, as not having been able to buy a proper esrog or for not having been able to put on tefillin one day); for having broken a negative commandment (the modern equivalent often suggested is thoughtlessly turning on a light or otherwise breaking the laws of the Sabbath by mistake); or they could be brought for the transgression of sinful thoughts (Midrash Tanchuma). For as Rambam says, "Sinful thoughts only enter a heart which is devoid of wisdom." Not only what we do but what and how we think are the realm of Torah. That idea alone can only invite humility on reflection, for we are in control of our thoughts even if we are not fully in control of our mood in some cases. Imagine if we today were liable for korbanos for such transgressions. How careful would we be with our thoughts, our actions, our speech? When we pray and when we perform positive mitzvahs, we should bear this in mind, for those are our modern ways of performing korbanos. We can enrich our daily actions by reminding ourselves we are expiating sin by being conscious of sinful thoughts, doing teshuva, and throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into the performance of our mitzvahs. This is an idea which invokes humility in me in truth.