Am I to Sacrifice My Son?

We know that Avraham our forefather was commanded to sacrifice his son Yitzchok. At the end Hashem told Avraham not to kill Yitzchok but rather to bring a sheep in his place. This is interesting considering that Yitzchok was the first person in Jewish history to have a Bris Milah on the eighth day. We find that Bris is likened to a sacrifice.

Chair of Eliyahu

The Chair of Eliyahu is customarily placed on the north side of the shul. Most shuls face east (mizrach) and thus the north is usually on the left side. The Olah offering was slaughtered on the north side of the Altar. (The Chida writes that while the baby is on the Chair of Eliyahu, his head should face east and his feet to the west just as a korbon mincha.)

One of the attendees is given the honor of transferring the baby from the Chair of Eliyahu to the father’s hands. The father then hands the baby over to the sandak. This signifies tenufah, the waving of the korban.

Olah Offering

What is interesting is that the Olah offering is totally burned to Hashem unlike any other sacrifice such as the Shelamim, peace offering which goes to the Kohen, owner and mizbeach, altar (to God). This signifies that when a person controls his or her passions and uses them only according to the parametes of holiness, then the body is uplifted and as if it was totally sacrifices to Hashem.

Additionally, the parents of the baby must realize that their job is to help the baby become a sincere and complete servant of Hashem, an Olah Temimah. They should enjoy their child and get nachas as he grows, however, they should not try to make him a Shelomim so to speak. They should not hover over him and think that they own him.

Healthy Home

When a child grows up in a healthy environment, he can be taught how to dedicate himself to Hashem and to spiritual growth. We daven that the child should find only success in life.