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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Life Lessons
Parshas Bichukosai: Rav Chaim Zaitchek - The Lesson of Temura, Mitzvos That Shine

The torah tells us (Bichukosai 27:10) that is a person designates and animal for a Korban he may not later switch it for a different animal. Not only for an inferior animal does this issur apply but he may not even switch it for a stronger and healthier animal. Why would the Torah forbid upgrading ones Korban and punishing this infraction, borne out of good will, with Malkos?

Rav Chaim Zaitchek in Ohr Chadash explains that when a person decides to bring a Korban it is because a holy spirit from beyond enters his heart. His thoughts are pure and they stem from the goodness and love of Hashem planted deep in his heart. The actual offering is the climax and materialization of this purity.

This however is only the first moment, while his action are connected to the spiritual. However, after that initial burst of love, as the Korban takes on a physical dimension in the shape of an animal, this spirit evaporates and all his subsequent thought are more earthly and mundane. If he replaces the weaker animal for a stronger one, he is in essence replacing his korban borne out of pure intentions for one far less holy. The first korban is the korban that Hashem cherishes. Therefore He commands us to bottle the initial purity and not switch it for a fatter piece of meat. The mitzvos we do with a holy heart shine in the eyes of Hashem far more than the ones that shine down here through the eyes of materialism.