When Taking is Giving
There is a deaf and mute man who asks for charity at the coffee shops and restaurants near my home in Jerusalem. He always insists on giving the givers a little gift - a card or sign language tool sheet. He looks so sad when people don’t take the gift he offers, and beams when they do.
In this weeks Torah portion Vayikra, we are given the complex details about the Korban - the sacrificial offering. One of the details we learn is that people with different socioeconomic status were given different sacrifice options. The Torah instructs the High Priest to partially eat from this sacrifice - the cheapest sacrifice.
It’s a profound lesson that even someone as wealthy and prestigious as the High Priest has a responsibility to give his respect and partake in a lesser, more modest sacrifice. In turn the giver is given the opportunity to feel dignity, regardless of his status or means!
Allowing someone else to give may feel like taking and can be uncomfortable at times, yet when it is done with the intention of making the other person happy, it is a beautiful and clever act of kindness.