Torah Weekly

For the week ending 8 March 2014 / 6 Adar II 5774

Parshat Vayikra

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair -
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The Book of Vayikra (Leviticus), also known as Torat Kohanim — the Laws of the Priests — deals largely with the korbanot (offerings) brought in the Mishkan (Tent of Meeting). The first group of offerings is called korban olah, a burnt offering. The animal is brought to the Mishkan's entrance. For cattle, the one bringing the offering sets his hands on the animal. Afterwards it is slaughtered and the kohen sprinkles its blood on the altar. The animal is skinned and cut into pieces. The pieces are arranged, washed and burned on the altar. A similar process is described involving burnt offerings of other animals and birds. The various meal offerings are described. Part of the meal offering is burned on the altar, and the remaining part eaten by the kohanim. Mixing leaven or honey into the offerings is prohibited. The peace offering, part of which is burnt on the altar and part is eaten, can be either from cattle, sheep or goats. The Torah prohibits eating blood or chelev (certain fats in animals). The offerings that atone for inadvertent sins committed by the Kohen Gadol, by the entire community, by the prince and by the average citizen are detailed. Laws of the guilt-offering, which atones for certain verbal transgressions and for transgressing laws of ritual purity, are listed. The meal offering for those who cannot afford the normal guilt offering, the offering to atone for misusing sanctified property, laws of the "questionable guilt" offering, and offerings for dishonesty are detailed.


Go Ogle!

“...the salt of your G-d's covenant” (2:13)

Overheard conversation:

"Shlomie, you know the Ploni family, don't you? Someone suggested their son Motti for my daughter. What can you tell me about them?”

"I don't know them well, but did you google the father?"

Nowadays just about everything about you is floating around somewhere out there in cyberspace. The true along with the apocryphal and the downright libelous. (Please don't google the present writer...)

The Chafetz Chaim once remarked that in every generation G-d gives us 'parables' to help us understand the connection of physical realities to their spiritual counterparts. In his day the transatlantic phone came into common usage. He remarked that he now had a concrete example of how one can say something in this world and it is heard at a great 'distance' - in Heaven. As it says in Pirkei Avot (2:1), "Consider three things and you will not come into the grip of sin: Know what is above you - an Eye that sees, an Ear that hears, and all your deeds in a Book are written."

Had he lived so see the television he might have also remarked that the television was a parable for "an Eye that sees," and today he might have observed that Google was an allegory for "all you deeds are written in a Book."

Maybe Google is a contraction of "Go Ogle!"

During the second day of Creation G-d divided the waters above the firmament and those below. The waters of this world ‘complained’ that they too wanted to be close to G-d. Thus He decreed during the daily services in the Beit HaMikdash, salt - which comes from sea water - is placed on the Altar, and fresh water is poured on the Altar at the time of Succot.

The question remains, however, why weren't the sea waters also poured on the Altar? Why just the salt?

When you make salt, you boil the water. The water ascends up to heaven and the salt remains here in this world. G-d always leaves us a parable, an allegory in this physical world, so that we can grasp ideas that reach to the Heavens.

Go Ogle!

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