Modern philosopher's belittled this idea so cuttingly, we no longer relate to it.
(Although reading what Rav Miller says about it helps a whole heck of a lot. Please see here: torasavigdor.org/parshas-vayikra-animal-sacrifice-a-pillar-of-the-world/)
And until the first Pesach in Egypt, no one ever thought to eat it.
Only the holy fire consumed the holy korbon.
Yet a shocking aspect of the korban Pesach was that Hashem commanded Am Yisrael to eat from it!
How can that be?
Rav Miller explains on page 6:
When a Yisroel consumes a korban it's like the fire of the mizbeach is burning it!
And that's the answer to how it could be such a thing now that never happened before, that a human being eats from a korban.
Because a Yisroel is not a human being! He’s much more than a human being!
That's a very important lesson. At that time Hashem declared that the Jewish body is kodesh kodoshim.
When they ate from the korban Pesach, that was the mizbeach, it was a fire of the Jewish spirit consuming the korban Pesach in their body.
Embracing the Real You
Rav Miller constantly emphasizes the idea of Jewish holiness in order to transform the way we see ourselves.
A Jew who regards him or herself as holy with a holy mission behaves with more integrity, refinement, compassion—and treats fellow Jews the same way.
Rav Miller explains on page 12 that "holy" means you are constantly seeking to perfect yourself; you're spiritually ambitious.
Likewise, every human being needs to internalize the fact of being made in the Image of God.
Additionally, Hashem breathed something of Himself into every single human being, no matter how lowly, defective, or deformed that human being may seem.
Every human being holds an aspect of Divinity within.
Internalizing this concept motivates people to behave better and to treat others better.
If You Really Want What's Best for the Everyone...
Rav Miller elaborates upon them until page 12, including some insightful comments on the founders of other religions.
Jews today, including many frum Jews, wish to get all buddy-buddy with Western culture.
Ideas like "finding similarities" & bonding "focusing on what we have in common" rise up as the call of the day.
However, we must remain separate in a positive way.
A lot of our issues derive from either melting down our identity to fit the current mold or standing out in a material way rather than a spiritual way. (I'm not saying this; this idea comes from the words of Rav Miller, Rav Itamar Schwartz, the Kli Yakar, etc.)
Despite all our warm fuzzy feelings & intentions, we are not actually helping ourselves or the surrounding nations by melting ourselves down to fit the latest mold.
Geula (Redemption) comes when the Jews finish our tikkun.
To do that, we must determinedly dance down our unique path (both as a Nation and as unique souls).
Bringing the Geula helps everyone, both Jews and non-Jews: world peace, happiness, wealth, health, and much more.
If we really care about everyone, we'll do our best to hasten the Geula with mercy.
The Purpose of Life
The word nisayon, often translated as "test" or "trial," comes from the root nes—to uplift.
By putting Mankind to test, Hashem brings forth the greatness that is buried inside of our neshamos; the tests bring forth from us the potential kedusha in a measure far beyond what we possessed before.
And so, we’re learning now that everything that happens is for the purpose of eliciting the perfection that's hidden within you.
Of course, it takes some thought, some preparation, to see how you can achieve perfection from this event or from that object or this happening but there are always opportunities in our lives to choose greatness.
Regardless of how they twist themselves into a pretzel, they rarely feel any sense of accomplishment.
Maybe I'm wrong, but my personal feeling is that figuring out the "right" response or the "right" behavior or the "right" way to emulate good middot has become increasingly elusive.
When should you remain silent & when should you speak up?
When should you be gentle & when should you be firm?
What should you say & how should you say it?
Should you do this or do that?
What are the correct priorities? And I mean the REAL ones, not just what people say?
And you can't always tell the right way by the situation.
For example, people & situations can respond positively to bad middot & unethical acts, while responding negatively to good middot and morality.
I don't have an answer.
But I just wanted to acknowledge and validate the feelings of people who realize that life is indeed a series of tests—a series of tests they keep failing.
(Or THINK they keep failing. Maybe they are actually succeeding brilliantly, but part of the test is to feel like a failure?)
On page 14, Rav Miller discusses the differences between the masculine path to perfection and the feminine path to perfection.
Yes, there is a general path. But there are also paths according to gender.
Page 15 discusses how to grow through happiness & how to grow through mitzvot.
Let's leave ourselves with Rav Miller's words on page 16:
Everybody should know that he has an endless store of perfection within himself and people who live their lives without this attitude of yearning for perfection are making one of the most tragic errors in their lives; it’s a big misuse of continued existence.
If you don't attempt to become better and instead you’re satisfied to continue as you always were, it’s a tragedy.
What’s the purpose of continuing to live if not for the purpose of becoming better and better?
Also, Rav Miller offers a brilliant insight into Amalek's hatred for Am Yisrael starting on the last page.
Credit for all quotes & material goes to Toras Avigdor.