Verses Lv09-01:04 discussing the requirements of offerings
at the consecration of the Temple states
And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called ....
And he said ...., Take a young calf for a ... offering, a.... and a meal offering mixed with oil; for today the Lord will appear to you.
As can be seen the verses causally connect the bringing of offerings with the prophetic
appearance of God to the people. Rashi emphasizes this causal relationship:
...therefore [because God is appearing to you] you must bring these
The simplest approach to Rashi is a symbolic interpretation:
The image of an animal consumed in flames on the altar symbolically
triggers a prophetic vision of God. That is the offerings are symbolic
procedures which facilitate prophetic visions. For a more detailed description
of the offerings as symbolic procedures see my article on sybmolism mentioned
above and located on the world wide web at
. In passing we point out in this article that the Jewish aspiration
to rebuild the Temple and offer sacrifices is in reality a Jewish aspiration
to the renewal of prophecy.
Advanced Rashi: We have only discussed the general idea
of the offerings being symbolic procedures. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch goes into
detail on each offering and shows how it prepares us psychologically and spiritually
for prophetic encounter with God.