parshat Vayikra

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Yeshiva WebsiteWhat Do We Sacrifice?
We would expect to read “when one of you offers a sacrifice.” Instead, it says “when one offers a sacrifice of you.” The essence of sacrifice is that we offer ourselves.
  • The Ability to Give Up – part I
    The new sefer begins: “He called to Moshe, and Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying” (Vayikra 1:1). This opening to Vayikra, which Chazal called, The Torah of the Kohanim, highlights once again the greatness of the spirit of Aharon HaKohen, Moshe’s older brother. One would think that since the main topic of the sefer is the commandments relating to the Mishkan and the service performed in it, about which Aharon was in charge, that the matter would be addressed to Aharon. However, it was actually told to Moshe! Yet, we find no hint in the Torah that Aharon had any jealousy toward his younger brother due to the latter’s greater prominence. To the contrary, when Aharon found out that he would be accompanying Moshe in a junior role, Hashem reports: “He will go out to greet you, will see you, and will be happy in his heart” (Shemot 4:14).
  • Sinning against those Closest to us and Sinning against G-d
    At the end of the parasha, the Torah brings the following case: “If a person sins and acts deceitfully against Hashem, by denying his friend’s (claim) regarding an article that was deposited by him…” (Vayikra 5:21). The opening words of the pasuk imply that the sin is within the realm of “between man – and G-d.” However, the specific description is of a sin between man and man. Chazal sensed the seeming contradiction. We will bring Rabbi Akiva’s explanation in Midrash Halacha, cited by Rashi.
  • Which Mitzvah Should We Drop?
    What do you mean that we need to drop a mitzvah? Drop it from what? And what does this question have to do with this week’s parshah?
  • Closeness
    There are so many types of korbanot (sacrifices or offerings; it is a word that cannot be accurately translated along with its nuances). Some are private, and some are communal. Some are for sins, and some are to celebrate holidays. Some are to offer personal thanks, and some deal with complex personal situations of a variety of types (sota, metzora, nazir).
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