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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

VaYikra 24-3

And (he) called

Leviticus 2:7-16

Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

Lev. 2:13 NIV

What does the salt teach us?

Salt has two main purposes: to season and to preserve. Food without salt lacks flavour, and also, salted food remains in good condition for a longer period of time. Due to these facts salt had to be present on the Eternal's table. All the sacrifices on the altar had to have salt. Sacrifices are food for the Eternal (Lev. 21:22) therefore they have to be seasoned with salt. All food needs salt; and, since salt has the ability to preserve food it also symbolises the everlasting.

The salt of the Salt Sea, called salt of Sodom, which was normally used in Israel in ancient times, never loses its flavour. For this reason, salt symbolizes the everlasting and it's used as a sign of covenant. The main aspect of a covenant is its perpetuity – that's why the salt is a good symbol for it.

When the Eternal established the offerings in the tabernacle He also commanded the use of salt as a remembrance of His everlasting covenant with the people. When a covenant is a "salt covenant" – brit melach, ברית מלך – it means that it is a firmly established and perpetual covenant. This expression appears twice in the Scriptures (Nm. 18:19; 2 Chron. 13:5).

Salt had to go, not only with all the offerings that were meant for the altar but also with the incense and the showbread. It was even used for the altar's ramp so the priests wouldn't slip and fall.

It’s highly recommended to always have salt on a Jewish table. After the temple's destruction, the table of a Jewish home is considered an altar. That's why after the blessing over the bread, it's customary to sprinkle salt on the bread or dip the bread pieces in salt before eating them. Thus, we remember the covenant before the Eternal.

The text that we've highlighted teaches us that we can approach the Eternal only on the basis of a covenant. It's impossible to do it otherwise. The Hebrew word usually translated as sacrifice is korbanקרבן – (in this case it was translated as “offering"). The word's root is karav קרב – which means approach, bring near. Sacrifices are not only brought close to the Eternal but are also a means for getting closer to Him. Now, without salt the sacrifice is not acceptable before the Eternal. In other words, without covenant there is no closeness to Him.

All the covenants between the Eternal and men are platforms for men to approach the Most High.

Blessed be the Eternal for the covenants He made with Noach's sons, Avraham, the people of Israel, David and the Messiah, through which men can get close to the Eternal and be welcome!



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