by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah gives instructions for offering various types of flour offerings prepared in different manners: “And if you bring near a flour offering baked in the oven … and if your offering is a flour offering baked in a pan … and if your offering is a flour offering baked in a pot…” (Leviticus 2:4,5,7).
What is the deeper meaning behind each of these different offerings?
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch explains: The Mincha, flour offering, expresses our appreciation to the Almighty for our happiness in life. Minchat Solet, the fine flour offering, has many forms of preparations to focus us on appreciating from the basic necessities of life to the wonderful “extras” with which we have been blessed.
The offerings are baked in an oven, a pan and a pot corresponding to bread, cake and specially prepared dishes. Bread (ma’afeh tanur) is ordinary food, a necessity for happy daily life. Cake (machavat) signifies the extra enjoyment, the historically unusual condition of luxury. The specially prepared dish (marcheset) is for a special occasion, the temporary, passing moment of a unique joy.
Our lesson: focus and appreciate each and everything in our lives as a gift from the Almighty, Who loves us and cares for us!