Leviticus 1
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1  Hashem called to Moshe and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying:

א  וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֵלָיו מֵאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֵאמֹר׃

2  Speak to B’nei Yisrael, and say to them: When any of you presents an offering of cattle to Hashem, he shall choose his offering from the herd or from the flock.

da-BAYR el b’-NAY yis-ra-AYL v’-a-mar-TA a-lay-HEM a-DAM kee yak-REEV mi-KEM kor-BAN la-do-NAI min ha-b’-hay-MAH min ha-ba-KAR u-min ha-TZON tak-REE-vu et kor-ban-KHEM

ב  דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם אָדָם כִּי־יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן לַיהֹוָה מִן־הַבְּהֵמָה מִן־הַבָּקָר וּמִן־הַצֹּאן תַּקְרִיבוּ אֶת־קָרְבַּנְכֶם׃

 1:2   When any of you presents an offering of cattle to Hashem

Sefer Vayikra describes the various offerings that were brought in the Beit Hamikdash in great detail. The Hebrew term for ‘offering,’ korban (קרבן), comes from the word karov (ק-ר-ב), meaning ‘close,’ since the offerings are meant to bring people closer to the Eternal One. For this reason, the common English translation of korban, ‘sacrifice,’ is insufficient, as it does not accurately portray the essence of the word. While the person bringing the offering might be giving something from his personal possessions, he gains much more than he gives. Now that we no longer have korbanot, prayer is the primary vehicle through which we come close to our Father in Heaven.7 comments

3  If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall make his offering a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, for acceptance in his behalf before Hashem.

ג  אִם־עֹלָה קָרְבָּנוֹ מִן־הַבָּקָר זָכָר תָּמִים יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ אֶל־פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד יַקְרִיב אֹתוֹ לִרְצֹנוֹ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה׃

4  He shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, that it may be acceptable in his behalf, in expiation for him.

ד  וְסָמַךְ יָדוֹ עַל רֹאשׁ הָעֹלָה וְנִרְצָה לוֹ לְכַפֵּר עָלָיו׃

5  The bull shall be slaughtered before Hashem; and Aharon‘s sons, the Kohanim, shall offer the blood, dashing the blood against all sides of the mizbayach which is at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

ה  וְשָׁחַט אֶת־בֶּן הַבָּקָר לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וְהִקְרִיבוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים אֶת־הַדָּם וְזָרְקוּ אֶת־הַדָּם עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ סָבִיב אֲשֶׁר־פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד׃

6  The burnt offering shall be flayed and cut up into sections.

ו  וְהִפְשִׁיט אֶת־הָעֹלָה וְנִתַּח אֹתָהּ לִנְתָחֶיהָ׃

7  The sons of Aharon the Kohen shall put fire on the mizbayach and lay out wood upon the fire;

ז  וְנָתְנוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן אֵשׁ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְעָרְכוּ עֵצִים עַל־הָאֵשׁ׃

8  and Aharon‘s sons, the Kohanim, shall lay out the sections, with the head and the suet, on the wood that is on the fire upon the mizbayach.

ח  וְעָרְכוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים אֵת הַנְּתָחִים אֶת־הָרֹאשׁ וְאֶת־הַפָּדֶר עַל־הָעֵצִים אֲשֶׁר עַל־הָאֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃

9  Its entrails and legs shall be washed with water, and the Kohen shall turn the whole into smoke on the mizbayach as a burnt offering, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to Hashem.

ט  וְקִרְבּוֹ וּכְרָעָיו יִרְחַץ בַּמָּיִם וְהִקְטִיר הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַכֹּל הַמִּזְבֵּחָה עֹלָה אִשֵּׁה רֵיחַ־נִיחוֹחַ לַיהֹוָה׃

10  If his offering for a burnt offering is from the flock, of sheep or of goats, he shall make his offering a male without blemish.

י  וְאִם־מִן־הַצֹּאן קָרְבָּנוֹ מִן־הַכְּשָׂבִים אוֹ מִן־הָעִזִּים לְעֹלָה זָכָר תָּמִים יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ׃

11  It shall be slaughtered before Hashem on the north side of the mizbayach, and Aharon‘s sons, the Kohanim, shall dash its blood against all sides of the mizbayach.

יא  וְשָׁחַט אֹתוֹ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ צָפֹנָה לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וְזָרְקוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים אֶת־דָּמוֹ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ סָבִיב׃

12  When it has been cut up into sections, the Kohen shall lay them out, with the head and the suet, on the wood that is on the fire upon the mizbayach.

יב  וְנִתַּח אֹתוֹ לִנְתָחָיו וְאֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וְאֶת־פִּדְרוֹ וְעָרַךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָם עַל־הָעֵצִים אֲשֶׁר עַל־הָאֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃

13  The entrails and the legs shall be washed with water; the Kohen shall offer up and turn the whole into smoke on the mizbayach. It is a burnt offering, an offering by fire, of pleasing odor to Hashem.

יג  וְהַקֶּרֶב וְהַכְּרָעַיִם יִרְחַץ בַּמָּיִם וְהִקְרִיב הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַכֹּל וְהִקְטִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחָה עֹלָה הוּא אִשֵּׁה רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ לַיהֹוָה׃

14  If his offering to Hashem is a burnt offering of birds, he shall choose his offering from turtledoves or pigeons.

יד  וְאִם מִן־הָעוֹף עֹלָה קָרְבָּנוֹ לַיהֹוָה וְהִקְרִיב מִן־הַתֹּרִים אוֹ מִן־בְּנֵי הַיּוֹנָה אֶת־קָרְבָּנוֹ׃

15  The Kohen shall bring it to the mizbayach, pinch off its head, and turn it into smoke on the mizbayach; and its blood shall be drained out against the side of the mizbayach.

טו  וְהִקְרִיבוֹ הַכֹּהֵן אֶל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמָלַק אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וְהִקְטִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחָה וְנִמְצָה דָמוֹ עַל קִיר הַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃

16  He shall remove its crop with its contents, and cast it into the place of the ashes, at the east side of the mizbayach.

טז  וְהֵסִיר אֶת־מֻרְאָתוֹ בְּנֹצָתָהּ וְהִשְׁלִיךְ אֹתָהּ אֵצֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ קֵדְמָה אֶל־מְקוֹם הַדָּשֶׁן׃

17  The Kohen shall tear it open by its wings, without severing it, and turn it into smoke on the mizbayach, upon the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, an offering by fire, of pleasing odor to Hashem.

יז  וְשִׁסַּע אֹתוֹ בִכְנָפָיו לֹא יַבְדִּיל וְהִקְטִיר אֹתוֹ הַכֹּהֵן הַמִּזְבֵּחָה עַל־הָעֵצִים אֲשֶׁר עַל־הָאֵשׁ עֹלָה הוּא אִשֵּׁה רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ לַיהֹוָה׃

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Leviticus 2

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  • Verse 13: ‘it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire…. ‘ Reminds me that there are times in our lives when we too make sacrifices, times when we put other people’s needs before our own, and sometimes it can feel like our desires are being burnt, those times can be very costly, and they become a sweet fragrance to the Lord. Times that need to be cherished as they do bring the Lord closer to us, I think He comes to us at those times.

  • The first word of this Torah portion is “וַיִּקְרָא” transliterated “vayikra” which means “and HE called”.
    It’s hard to see from the fonts used on this site, but the “alef” is the last letter of this word. When you look at this word on a Torah scroll or in a Chumash, you can see that the “alef” is always written by the scribes much smaller than the other letters. The meaning of “alef” is strength.
    A beautiful teaching that comes from this word is about how when we are called to serve HIM, our strength must be made small in order for HIM to work HIS mighty power through us. We see this embodied in the character of Moshe who knew that it wasn’t by his own strength that anything was going to be accomplished, thus his humility, but by the strength of Elohim.

    • There a two cases in point that came to my mind in reading your comment. King Saul was the first king of Israel. In the beginning,; he was a good king, mighty in stature and deed. Yet, in the end, his ego got the best of him. As we might say it, he was trying to cash checks his spiritual bank couldn’t cash. The name, Saul, means “mighty, big, strong”. To make my point, the Brit Hadashah contains many works of Paul. Originally, his name was Saul of Tarsus. His name was changed to Paul which means, “small or little”. One cannot be effective in the service of our Lord if we have big egos. We must be small and let the glory be to the Father alone.

  • Our Torah teacher likes to remind us of what it would have been like to have been in the Temple in that day with the “sweet savour” of the sacrifices filling the air around us.

    He likens the experience to driving over to your favorite steakhouse and parking downwind of the kitchen. The smell of roasting meat sets one’s mouth to watering and their stomach to rumbling. There is nothing unpleasant about it.

    Those who are opposed to such things probably image this in a much different way.

    I think it must have been a very interesting part of life in those days.

    • I totally agree. I also think that anything we do today that brings us closer to Yahweh becomes a ‘karov’, (the word Shira says is the Hebrew root word for offerings). Hence, bible reading, bible study, charity and praise (singing to Yahweh) are all karov. It just dawned on me that the children of Yisrael then did not have to meditate on much of Leviticus, they mostly had to carry it out. But on second thought, in one way or another, we too today have to carry it out, what a revelation!

      • I like your thoughts.

        They remind me of one of my favorite verses:

        “Then those who feared Adonai talked often one to another; and Adonai listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared Adonai and who thought on His Name.” Malachi 3:16

        I consider the time I spend concerning anything about Him to be time well spent.
        Baruch Hashem!

Leviticus 1

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