> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > 1 Minute Vort on the Parsha

With a Grain of Salt

Vayikra (Leviticus 1-5 )

by Rabbi Eli Scheller

For you shall not cause to go up in smoke from any leavening or fruit-honey as a fire-offering to Hashem. You shall salt every meal- offering… (2:11, 13)

The verse states that one is not permitted to use honey in the meal offering, while it is an obligation to use salt for all the offerings. Why is one obligated to bring salt as part of a sacrifice, as opposed to honey?

Even though honey and salt are both used for flavoring food there is a fundamental difference between them. Honey itself is sweet and when poured on food, it provides the food with a sweet taste. Salt, however, enhances flavor, pulling the flavor out of food and giving it a stronger taste. It can be added to something bland and make it flavorful.

The symbolism of the obligation to use salt on the offerings as opposed to honey teaches us that God wants every person to develop and nurture his own unique talents. This is like a good teacher who doesn’t merely put information into the student - rather he brings out and develops what’s already there.

The Zohar states that the word “Yisrael” is an acronym for there are six hundred thousand letters in the Torah. This number corresponds to the six hundred thousand men who left Egypt. Every Jew is a letter in the Torah. If there is one letter in a Torah scroll that is touching another letter that Torah is invalid, and so too, a Jew who ignores his own abilities and tries to be like others is ‘invalid’. Everyone needs to serve God in his own unique way. Don’t imitate others; rather locate qualities within yourself, ‘salt’ them, and let them shine.

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