Virtual Minyan: Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 to 5:26)
Today at 4pm on our weekly Virtual Minyan we’ll discuss Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 to 5:26).
The third book of the Torah, known in Hebrew as Vayikra (after the first word of the text, which means “and He called”), is also called Torat Kohanim, the Teaching of Priests, because so many of its laws revolve around the service and lifestyle of the Levite priests, descendants ofAaron. This is the source of its English (Greek) name, Leviticus.
Though sometimes viewed as a collection of arcane laws of animal sacrifices and ritual purity, Leviticus is very much valued in Judaism. In fact, traditionally, the first Torah verses that children learn are from Leviticus. We read in theMidrash, “[When] we start the children with the book of Vayikra, G-d says, ‘Let the pure ones come and involve themselves in the pure [laws], and I will consider it as if they brought a sacrifice before me.’”
In this first parshah of Leviticus, we will learn of five basic types of sacrifices, and seek insights into how these served the ancient Hebrew society. We’ll then see if there are some modern (less gory) equivalents. Here’s G-dcast’s cartoon overview of Vayikra:
Suggested Verses of the Week:
1. If one person of the people of the land commits a sin unintentionally, by his committing one of the commandments of the Lord which may not be committed, incurring guilt; if his sin that he committed is made known to him, he shall bring his sacrifice: an unblemished female goat, for his sin that he committed. (Leviticus 4:27-28).
2. If a person swears, expressing with [his] lips to do harm or to do good, whatever a man may express in an oath, and it is hidden from him and [later] he knows, he is guilty in any one of these cases. (Leviticus 5:1)
3. And the kohen shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any one of all [cases] whereby one may commit [a sin], incurring guilt through it. (Leviticus 5:26)
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