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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VAYIKRA 5766 BS"D

Ch. 1, v. 3: "Lirtzono lifnei Hashem" - With his willingness in front of Hashem - The previous words "yakriv oso" seem to be contra-indicative, that he MUST bring the sacrifice. Toras Kohanim says that when the Torah mandates bringing a sacrifice he must do so, and when unwilling, we "make" him willing by forcing him. Rambam in hilchos ishus explains how coerced action is considered being agreeable. A person's inner emotions are to do that which is correct. His external drives cover his internal ones and this is why he is reluctant to give a divorce where halacha mandates that he do so, or in our case, because of the monetary outlay, effort in making a pilgrimage to Yerusholayim, etc. he says that he will not do so. Once his physical inclination makes the wise choice of complying rather than undergoing coercion, his spiritual side is in control and "willingly" advises him to comply. This is alluded to in the following words "lifnei Hashem." We can interpret this to mean "lifnei," which is the "nismach" form of "lifnim shel," in his insides, "Hashem," there is the will to do Hashem's wishes. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 1, v. 9: "Ho'eitzim" - The wood - Wood of any type of tree may be used on the altar, save that of olive trees and grape vines. This is because their extract (olive oil and wine) is likewise offered on the altar. A moral lesson is derived from this, that a father is sometimes saved from the inferno in the merit of his son.

Rabbeinu Z'charioh says that these two types of wood are not used because they do not produce good coals. They turn to ash very quickly.

Ch. 1, v. 9: "V'kirbo uchro'ov yirchatz" - And its innards and its legs you shall wash - We do not find this command by chatos, oshom, or shlomim. This is because these organs of the animal are consumed by the owners. They obviously will not eat them without first cleansing them. Our verse is discussing an oloh sacrifice, which is totally consumed on the altar. The Torah therefore tells us to wash these parts of the animal so that clean respectable offerings are burned. (Rabbi Yoseif Bchor Shor)

Ch. 1, v. 13: "V'ha'kerev v'hakro'ayim" - And the innards and the legs - Earlier, in verse 9 we have the same words, except that the verse adds the possessive suffix letter Vov, "and ITS innards and ITS legs." Why the change? This alludes that one cleanse himself first, and only then attempt to improve others. (Rabbeinu Efrayim)

Ch. 1, v. 13: "V'hikriv haKohein es hakole v'hiktir" - And the Kohein shall bring it all and burn it - Why by the bovine oloh offering (verse 9) does the verse only mention the burning and not the bringing?

Ch. 1, v. 14: "V'im min ho'ofe oloh korbono laShem" - And if an avian offering is his oloh to Hashem - "LaShem" is mentioned here and not by the bovine or sheep offerings, because their hides are given to the Kohanim. A bird oloh offering has absolutely nothing that goes to a person, hence "laShem." (Rabbi Shmuel Prager)

Ch. 4, v. 1: "Nefesh ki secheto" - If a soul will sin - "Nefesh" refers to the soul of a rank and file ben Yisroel. The word used by the "nosi" is "asher" (4:22), when. The leader will surely sin. It is next to impossible for a leader to not make a wrong move when carrying out his communal responsibilities. (Toldos Yitzchok)

Perhaps this is the basis for the words of our Shabbos prayers, "V'chol mi she'oskim b'tzorchei tzibur be'emunoh v'yislach l'chol avonom." Why do we assume that he has surely sinned that we ask for atonement? It might well be based on these words of the Toldos Yitzchok.

Ch. 4, v. 22: "Asher nosi yecheto" - When a chief will sin - The first letters of these words spell ANI, I. The final letters have the numerical value of 202, the same as RaV. This is the reason that he will likely sin, because of his self-aggrandizement. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 4, v. 22: "Asher lo sei'ossenoh bishgogoh" - That which is not to be done accidentally - As just mentioned, leadership can readily bring a person to sin. These words tell us that it can even bring to transgressing intentionally that which a person would normally not even transgress unintentionally. (N'tzi"v)

Ch. 4, v. 27: "V'im nefesh achas techeto" - And if a single soul will sin - It is specifically because this person was a loner that he sinned. Had he been part of a G-d-fearing congregation he would have been guided to distance himself from sin. (Divrei Avrohom)

Ch. 4, v. 27: "V'im nefesh achas techeto vishgogoh mei'am ho'oretz baasosoh achas mimitzvos Hashem asher lo sei'ossenoh" - And if a single soul will sin inadvertently from the nation of theland when it does one of the commands of Hashem that should not be done - The gemara Sotoh 21 says that a boor who thinks that he is very devout, a "chosid shoteh," might come upon a woman who is drowning. He thinks that touching or looking upon this woman whose body might be modesty-compromised overrides saving her life, so he lets her drown. This is alluded to in these words of our verse. An "am ho'oretz" unintentionally sins by making one of Hshem's commands, to save a life, an act that should not be done. (Luach Erez)

Ch. 5, v. 1: "Im lo yagid v'nosso avono" - If he will not testify then he will bear his sin - Rashi explains that this is a situation of a person asking his friend to come to his aid by testifying in his favour, for example his friend was witness to a loan that he gave and the recipient is denying that it ever took place.

The word LO in our verse is spelled in an unusual manner, Lamed-Vov-Alef, while almost everywhere else it is spelled without the letter Vov. We can explain this by offering that there is a dual intention here, both Lamed-Alef = NO, and Lamed-Vov = to him. The simple understanding is as just explained that the one requested to testify falsely swore that he knew nothing. There is also a second message. A person may not testify against another person where he knows that his testimony will accomplish nothing. For example, if only one witness comes to testify that a person intentionally ate pig, the court will not do anything about it because two witnesses are required before punishment is administered. The gemara Makos 9 relates that a person named Zigud testified that Tovia sinned in the above fashion and the courts did nothing to Tovia. However, they administered lashes to Tovia for knowingly testifying as a single witness, as all this accomplishes is loshon hora.

We can thus say that if "Lamed-Vov yagid," he testifies only concerning HIM, another person, but not in a manner that can bring about court action, "v'nosso avono," the witness has sinned. This is actually the straightforward meaning of the verse in Dvorim 19:15. (Nirreh li) Ch. 5, v. 7: "V'im lo sagia yodo dei seh echod l'chatos v'echod l'oloh" - And if he cannot afford a sheep one for a chatos and one for an oloh - Why do we introduce an additional totally different type of sacrifice, an oloh, for the poor man (see Ibn Ezra)? A poor man suffers from his financial situation in privacy and can usually handle this. Now that he is bringing his sin-offering to the Beis Hamikdosh, and is in the public eye where everyone present becomes aware of his financial status, he subconsciously has a complaint against Hashem's choosing to make him poor. It is for this negative thought that he must bring an oloh offering, as olos are brought to atone for the sin of improper thoughts. (Koznitzer Magid)

Ch. 5, v. 15: "Ayil" - A ram - Rashi says that a ram is in its second year. Why does Rashi wait until here to give us this information? We find "ayil" earlier, for example at the end of parshas "ho'akeidoh". Minchoh Vluloh answers that in general the term "ayil" does not specifically mean a ram that is over one year old, as even a day old male sheep has the "ayil" appellation. It is only here, were the Torah requires that a ram of 2 "shiklei kodesh" value be brought that this age requirement is relevant. A newborn ram is worth much less.

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See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a


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