A Sense of Sacrifice
The beginning of a new chumash always provides a special challenge to those who strive to connect the Torah to their lives.
When Jews throughout the world hear on Shabbat the reading of the first parsha in Sefer Vayikra they are challenged to identify with the sacrifices that were offered in the Beit Hamikdash.
The first level of identification is the sense of sorrow that we have no opportunity today to atone for our mistakes with animal sacrifices. But there is another level of identification, one that is a source of comfort for that sorrow. All of us are faced with situations in which we must make sacrifices. Sometimes it is forgoing a luxury in order to help a needy person or a worthwhile cause. At other times we sacrifice the time we could utilize for business or pleasure in order to pray or study Torah.
For those who live in Israel there is the ongoing sacrifice of the security enjoyed by people in other lands.
Any sort of suffering, say our Talmudic Sages, is accepted by G-d as an atonement sacrifice. The only requirement is that the sacrifice we make must be done out of love for the Creator Who gave us this opportunity to thus clean the slate.
Such is the attitude towards sacrifice which will preserve Israel forever.