Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #16

[adapted for middle-schoolers by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

As part of our morning davening, we learn about the Korbanot (sacrifices) in the Beit Ha-Mikdash. The Korbanot have many details as to how they are to be offered and even what we must be thinking when we offer them. These are not just technical details. Everything has great meaning, even though it is hard to understand the meaning behind every detail. Yet, we try to do the best that we can. The Korbanot are considered The Avodah - the primary service of Hashem. Therefore, everything we do today in order to serve Hashem parallels an aspect of what was done in the Beit Ha-Midkash.
The Korban Tamid was offered in the Beit Ha-Mikdash twice daily - in the morning and at Minchah time. When Hashem gives this mitzvah to Moshe Rabbenu, he says “Tzav et Bnei Yisrael”- Command the Children of Israel. When Torah uses the command form Tzav it is emphasizing ziruz - being particularly dedicated to the mitzvah and doing it properly. This is particularly important here as there could have been a temptation not to be careful about a Korban that is offered daily. After all, we did it yesterday and will do it tomorrow. Yet the Torah is teaching us that even with things done constantly we have to be careful. These things that are constant have a great impact on our daily lives. Therefore, even though they may not seem as “exciting” as a mitzvah we do rarely, we need to be careful with them as they set our pattern for how we serve Hashem.
The word Korban comes for the word to come close. The whole idea was to come closer to Hashem. This is what we have to do in all aspect of our lives - come closer to Hashem. Today, our Tefilot substitute for the Korbanot. And sometimes we get so used to davening that we forget how special and important it is. We have the opportunity to come closer to Hashem. The Korban Tamid is a reminder to us that we cannot let that happen.