Vayakarev – וַיַּקְרֵ֖ב – Brought forward
Next he brought forward … the people’s offering (Leviticus 9:15); He brought forward … burnt offering (Leviticus 9:16); He brought forward … meal offering (Leviticus 9:17).
Hidden in plain sight in the voluminous account of the sacrificial cult in the book of Leviticus is this repetitive description of Aaron’s action for each sacrifice … Vayakarev – וַיַּקְרֵ֖ב – (Aaron) brought forward … Aaron brought forward, Aaron brought forward, Aaron brought forward.
Aaron was bringing forward the stuff for each sacrifice. Beyond the limitation of the literal text, how might we see the construct of the sacrificial cult pointing towards something more essential and relevant? What is Aaron (on behalf of the people) doing by bringing valuable stuff to God? It seems to me that by this act he (and they) are trying to affirm or deepen or grow that significant relationship. Aaron brings something of value, something that in the sharing of it makes him and the Israelites a little vulnerable. At the foundation of this act of sharing is the element of trust. Trust that is the secret sauce that makes relationships flourish and blossom.
The word – Vayakarev – וַיַּקְרֵ֖ב – (Aaron) Brought forward – is rooted in the idea of closeness. Hebrew speakers today still use this Hebrew root to connote one’s physical proximity and one’s emotional connectedness as well. To bring it full circle, one of the words that Torah uses for sacrifice – Korban – comes from this Hebrew root, as well.
For us, the construct suggests a simple truth … that bringing our own valuable stuff (thinking emotional and spiritual, rather than the physical stuff) to the people in our lives is what will affirm or deepen or grow our relationships. That exercise of trust and our willingness to be vulnerable is what has and always will bring us close to one another. When we make that kind of sacrifice, holy things ensue.