Husband and wife are strolling down the street, when they pass an upscale perfume shop. The wife stops and takes in a long inhale “Wow!” she exclaims. “Such sweet scents are coming from this store! These are quality perfumes.” The husband nods. “True. Let’s take another circle around the shop…”
Amongst the many pleasures offered in this world, the experience of smell holds a special place. The sensory pleasure evoked by scents is unlike any other experience perceived by the other senses. It’s not for no reason that the perfume industry has a 40-billion dollar annual revenue.
In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Tetzaveh, we learn about the incense that was offered in the tabernacle. Why was it necessary?
As stated above, smell is not like any of the other senses. Amongst other differentiations, pleasant scents have the ability to cover up something that smells badly. If someone is dirty, perfume can overcome the bad odor. But if the essence is dirty, it will stay dirty. Perfume is just masking the dirt.
When a Jew arrives at the Temple, regardless of how much bad he has done, the good scent overcomes his dirt. Then, we can see the good in him, and reveal that his essence, too, is really good.
No matter what level a Jew is on, he is worthy to show up to the Bais Hamikdash and become closer to Hashem.
May we see the coming of the 3rd Bais Hamikdash today!
Candle lighting time in NYC: 5:08 PM