The Jewish Idea of Sacrifice

Autoplay Next

The Jewish Idea of Sacrifice

What, in the final analysis, do we have to give to our Creator, the source of all we have?
Listen to Audio | Download this MP3

Join the Discussion

Sort By:
Ben Tzion Krasnianski November 20, 2012

response to Hanna Dear Hannah,

According to Jewish belief every human being is created in the image of G-d and has the potential to become like Noah, who was not Jewish but who was G-d's best friend, who courageously lived a moral, ethical and spiritually meaningful existence paving the way for a stable world. According to Jewish teaching one who follows the Noahide Laws will have a share in the World to Come and will even merit the Resurrection!

For a Jew, our window to the world is our Jewishness. While the non-Jew is our best friend, a fellow Jew is literally a brother and a sister. Charity begins at home. The measure of a man is how well he treats his own family. someone who is loving and respectful to his own family will be a loving neighbor.

May you have lots of success in your life's journey.

wishing you the best,

Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski Reply

Hannah Rojas-Burgos November 3, 2012

Sacrifice I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but I get the feeling, that you are to love only Jews! Reply

ruth housman marshfield, ma May 22, 2012

broken wings I saved a seagull with one broken wing, tending to this bird tenderly through the night. The veterinarian wanted to euthanize the bird but I knew it wanted to live and he was rough with me, I shouted, "Who speaks for G-d? I speak for G-d!"

Where did those words come from? I just knew.

His entire demeanor changed as he so visibly acquiesced. He saved this bird and I found a refuge for it.

I went as far as I could and Yes love can exceed the comfort zone and awe is always part of the equation but I did speak for G-d and maybe this greater story is also about Love. Reply

Ruth Housman Marshfield, MA May 22, 2012

Sacrifice There is cri, the French word Cry in sacrifice. It seems so often acts of mercy result in pain to the one who performs these acts. A friend came to be with her friend to care for her and her dog during treatment of the friend's aggressive cancer. My friend who had to sleep over had to bring her beloved companion of many yrs., her pet parrot. She forgot the parrot was on her shoulder when she went to bring inside the dog. Her bird flew off and she is in deep grief as this bird was a beloved companion.

So many good Samaritans who stop to change a tire are killed by cars whipping by.
Why? Or are we not supposed to ask?

Life itself seems like both a mine field, meaning ours, and also a mine field meaning geodes as we dig, and also what blows up in our face as in land mines.

For me, the keys also exist within the words themselves as deeply characterizing life as it is experienced.

I am taking a perhaps un Orthodox walk across Babel and it is a gift.

I pray for the bird's return/ Merci. Reply

devorah May 21, 2012

thank you i love this so much Reply

Anonymous copenhagen, Denmark May 2, 2010

sacrificing. I am sacrificing myself, everyday, just to be able to live my life. I sacrifice my self to G-d. Bless G-d. My love to G-d, and my way of living, is a sacrifice. Reply

Ben Tzion Krasnianski (Author) April 26, 2010

Going beyond your natural self Just like a bird with one wing cannot fly, cannot get off the ground, so too love alone: although it is the right wing and the primary impulse, it's inadequate. Love is about self-expression. In order to truly grow, however, a person has to stretch, challenge himself to go beyond nature, beyond the comfort zone.

While we must thrive on our natural selves by developing our G-d-given talents and abilities, we must also develop a healthy sense of awe, the left wing, that keeps us grounded and honest. The moment we grow supremely confident, when we stop getting butterflies in our stomach and no longer feel challenged, that's when we stop growing.

In the airforce they say there are two pilots one should never fly with: the worst, for obvious reasons, and the best -- because his overconfidence and recklessness make him potentially the most dangerous of all. A healthy dose of awe is what gives the love the balance that allows the person to truly soar! Reply

ruth newton, MA April 20, 2010

to love is to live naturally! I feel there is one word missing in this talk, and that is the word LOVE. When we sacrifice for LOVE then that is true charity.. Fire in English is also about flame. And in English to have a flame is to experience someone we love. Deeply this is not about sacrifice but it's about LOVE. What I do for love is the interest of G-d.

He who serves God loves. Remember the words thou shalt love, with all thy heart with all thy soul, with all thy might.

A personal relationship with God is a loving relationship, and this is the ladder we climb. Because to love any creature, anyone, is to love God, because we are all of us, deeply, instruments of the Divine, and the Divine will is to love. Anyone who does this, regardless of belief in G-d, is fulfilling God's will and climbing Jacob's ladder.

As to the word laughter, it is contained in the word slaughter, and I say, the binding of Isaac was not to be blinded by an order.

We do it because it's for love and this is JOY, not sacrifice. Reply

Gabriela Mercedes Bs.As, Argentina February 12, 2010

THANK YOU Thank you so much for sharing this....It's been an eyeopener for my life and the way i relate with G_d Reply

Anonymous Inver Grove Heights, MN July 13, 2009

Self-sacrifice Today I watched Rabbi teach on this subject for the third time and I notice that it is helping me to do extra kindnesses for others believing that it makes G-d smile and at times laugh when I overcome a tendency to be selfish in several areas of my thinking and my life.
The stories teach ...the joy of the presentation teaches as well.
Because I love to argue a point I want to say the first two times I was shocked to hear that angels are just doing things the same all the time. Obviously Scripture teaches us many differences ... how they help and guide. Daniel in the Lion's Den... many other stories, in modern books, those little inspirations and wise guidance.

Still what Rabbi presented about the contrast between human beings (Jews) and Angels is one that I will remember.

I am so grateful and with God's love, kindness and strength so much yet to learn and to do. Reply

C. Brookville, NY July 6, 2009

sacrifice I was so happy to hear the Rabbi's words today. I have been wondering why the old age of my mother is becoming extremely difficult for me, the only daughter, to deal with. She has Parkinson's, my dad, her caregiver for 10 years, just died. Therefore all has fallen to me. She has had falls, emergency visits, now in rehab for the second time. She is a difficult patient, she has always been depressed throughout my life. Yet I thank the world God gave me as a child because it made me the person I am today. God has rewarded me in this life beyond my wildest dreams. Now it is my time to do for God. I have given up my time and effort toward the benefit of my mother. But I am also doing it for God. The Rabbi pointed out, quite rightly, that we own our sacrifice. It gives my work to helping my mother significance. It was necessary for me to feel that my difficult existence right now, was given to me by God and I will rise to the occasion and sacrifice, my time, etc. Reply

A series of video classes that expound upon mystical themes from the classic Chassidic work of Tanya.