Parshat Vayikra – March 20, 2021 – 7 Nissan 5781

Daf HaShavua A weekly digest of the Parshat Hashavua

Parshat Vayikra 

  • Stone Chumash, p. 544
  • Number of Verses: 111
  • Haftorah Isaiah 43:21: Stone Chumash p. 1165

Important Shabbat Info

  • Candle lighting: 6:56p
  • Vasikin(surnrise)7:07:47a
  • Latest Shmah:   10:09a
  • Earliest Mincha:  1:42p
  • Havdalah:             7:53p
  • ZOOM Havdalah   8:10p

General Introduction

The Torah describes the details of the sacrifices which were to be brought in the Tabernacle. Sacrifices or “Korbanot” may be brought from either bovine, ovine, or caprine species, of the animal kingdom. From the avian species, only pigeons or turtle doves are acceptable. From agronomy, semolina wheat, barley wheat, and wine. Finally, from the world of minerals, only water and salt are acceptable.

There are four major categories of korbanot.

  1. Olah- the ascending sacrifice, which was totally consumed by the flames of the altar, save the hide (which was a gift to the Kohen)
  2. Shlamim-the peace sacrifice. This korban was divided between the Israelite (the donator) the Kohen (the offerer), and the altar (the designated internal fats).
  3. Chatat- the sin offering. The meat of the sin offering was consumed by the Kohanim, and had to be eaten within the Temple precincts.
  4. Asham- lit. “guilt offering,” was brought for six specific violations.

For further clarifications on the various Korbanot, please see the Koren siddur.

  • Aliya 1 – pg. 544 – The details of the Olah offering if brought from an ox or a sheep or goat.
  • Aliya 2-p. 548 – The details of the bird Olah and the Mincha (a sort of crepe or blintz).
  • Aliya 3-p.550 – a continuation of the Mincha descriptions.
  • Aliya 4- p. 552 – a description of the Shlamim sacrifices from the bovine, ovine, and caprine varieties.
  • Aliya 5-p. 554 – Here begins the detailed descriptions of the Chatas sacrifices. There are specific sacrifices for the High Priest, the King of Israel, as well as the leaders of the tribes of Israel (in the event that the Sanhedrin mistakenly rules in a capital case).
  • Aliya 6- p. 560 – A description of the individual sacrifices, as well as the “income sacrifices.” Income sacrifices vary according to the financial status of the sinner. If he is well-to-do, he must bring an animal sacrifice. If he is poorer, he may bring birds. If he is truly impoverished, he may bring a sacrifice of semolina flour.
  • Aliya 7- p. 562 – The Asham sacrifices.

The Moral of the Story

Our Sages teach us that the world exists on three foundations: the study of Torah, the sacrifices, and acts of loving kindness. The sacrifices are therefore the central and most important pillar.

    How is modern man supposed to accept this seemingly bizarre regulation?

The reason why G-d chose the Jewish people as his “own treasure” is that He understood that we would be the only people in history who would unflinchingly, and stalwartly, be willing to accept his “super-rational” commands.

    The “Chok” or “super-rational mitzvah” has no clear significance in our world – yet they mean a great deal in the dimension of the Divine.

    Other examples of Chok are the regulations of Kosher, mixing meat and milk, mixing wool and linen in garments, not eating pork, and hundreds of others. The Chok comprises 90% of the mitzvot of the Torah.

    It is precisely because of our stubborn and unwavering adherence to the Chok, which is the salient quality of our nation. The Chok casts a unique spiritual aura upon us, one which the other nations of the world can not fathom nor duplicate.

All of the korbanot are Prime examples of the Chok! (see Rambam end of Meilah)