“Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: Command the children of Israel and say to them: My offering… This is the fire-offering that you are to offer to Hashem: male lambs in their first year, unblemished, two a day a consistent Olah (elevation-offering). The one lamb shall you make in the morning and the second lamb shall you make in the afternoon…”
The Korban Hatamid has two prominent components. It is both an Olah and also a daily offering. As an Olah, it is an offering that expresses absolute commitment to God. As a daily offering, it represents the continuity and consistency of that commitment.
The halacha states that the morning offering is to be the first offering of the day and the afternoon offering concludes the offerings of the day. By doing so, these sacrifices form a frame for the animal offerings of the day. Another point to note is that the Korban Hatamid is a public offering that comes from public funds. Not only are the resources public but also the actual offering requires public participation.
The Gemara teaches that all segments of Am Yisrael need to partake in the offering of the Korban Hatamid. The Kohanim do the actual sacrificing and offering of the meat on the altar. The Levi’im accompany the sacrifice with the shira, the singing of the songs of praise to Hashem, while the Korban Hatamid is offered. The simple Yisraelim partake through the Maamadot, the representatives of Yisraelim who accompany the sacrificing with Tefilah and Torah reading.
As we saw, the Korban Hatamid frames the rest of the offerings. Worshiping God has different dimensions: the private, the public, the compulsory and the voluntary. All these are framed by two public offerings of an Olah, an offering which states the public’s absolute commitment to God. The Torah teaches us that in our worship of Ha Kadosh Baruch Hu, there is plenty of room for individual expression. Some will focus on mending former faults while others will look to volunteer private offerings. Some will stress the aspects of prayer while others will focus on the study of Torah. Some might find their personal expression by sharing with others their knowledge and other acts of chesed while others will invest their energies on the development of midot, personal traits. Yet we all must remember that the roots and strength of our Avodat Hashem, worship of God, is in the unity of the public jointly offering its commitment to God.