Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)
The book of Exodus finished with a Crisis, God dwells in the Sanctuary we build for God, but we cannot enter it.
Leviticus 1:1 the first verse in Leviticus says “Adonai called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting” – crisis resolved, God calls Moses to enter God’s dwelling place, the temple.
Rashi the greatest Jewish Torah commentator ever say “it was an expression of affection”.
Such a beautiful understanding of what our relations with the Divine ought to be! Affection!
God instructs Moses on the five different kinds of sacrifices that were to be offered in the sanctuary:
The olah or “burnt offering” was a voluntary sacrifice that had a high degree of sanctity and was regarded as the “standard” offering. The entire animal, except for its hide, was burned on the altar. (1:1-17)
The minchah or “meal offering” was a sacrifice made of flour, oil, salt, and frankincense that was partly burned on the altar and partly given to the priests to eat. (2:1-16)
The zevach sh’lamim or “sacrifice of well-being” was a voluntary animal offering from one’s herd, sometimes brought to fulfill a vow. (3:1-17)
The chatat or “sin offering” was an obligatory sacrifice that was offered to expiate unintentional sins. This offering differs from the others in the special treatment of the blood of the animal. (4:1-5:13)
The asham or “penalty offering” was an obligatory sacrifice of a ram that was required chiefly of one who had misappropriated property. (5:1-26)