By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
The primary focus of Parashas Vayikra is the bringing of sacrifices in the Holy Temple. The pasuk says, “Adam ki yakriv mikem korban l’Hashem,” a person from amongst you who brings a sacrifice to Hashem. The Sforno comments that a sacrifice is only wanted from those that humble themselves first, and that is why the language used is “a person from amongst you.” If a person goes ahead and brings a sacrifice without humbling himself first, he is referred to as a fool, and his sacrifice is not as desirable.
We see how a prerequisite to bringing a sacrifice is humility. Nowadays, although we don’t bring sacrifices, we do have prayer in its place. If we desire for our prayers to be accepted on high, we must focus on becoming more humble individuals. We all have so many wants and needs that we bring before Hashem each day. Why would we choose to start off in the negative by bringing a prayer that is not so desirable because it’s colored by haughtiness? Our spouses will surely appreciate the effort we put in to humble ourselves. Humble people notice those around them, and see how they contribute to their own well-being. They are able to “see outside themselves,” and therefore they can be ideal lifelong partners that can truly give to their spouses.
The second perek in this week’s parashah starts by stating “nefesh ki sakriv mikem korban minchah l’Hashem,” a soul from amongst you who brings a minchah sacrifice to Hashem. Here it refers to the one bringing the sacrifice as a soul, and beforehand the person is called “adam.” Rashi explains that this is the only voluntary sacrifice where the person bringing it is called “nefesh,” a soul. He explains that this person under discussion is a pauper, and he is called a soul because he puts all his soul into his sacrifice, bringing the little that he has to give to Hashem.
We can take a lesson from this pauper, and try to do things wholeheartedly. When we do for our spouse, we can do it with an attitude of “giving it all we’ve got.” We can try to go the extra mile and do with all our soul, past the limits we might have ascribed to ourselves. Additionally, we should take the time to notice when our spouse does something that takes extra effort. There are actions that can be done by two people and one can do it with minimal effort, while for the other it required the utmost exertion. It is important to realize how much it takes out of your spouse to act as he does, and when he is stretching himself past his limitations. Acting in this way, and taking notice when your spouse does so, leads to appreciation and it also leads to feeling loved and cared-for when you see how far someone is willing to go on your behalf.
We should merit to master the trait of humility and truly act with all our heart and soul in all that we do, and especially in our marriage. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.