Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vayikra 5773

The Torah Portion of Vayikra  

"And He called to Moshe..." (Vayikra 1:1)

Rashi says that this (the use of the term "calling") is a language of love, the language which the angels of service use, as it is said "And one (angel) will call  to the other and say" (Yeshayahu 6:3).  It can be asked, what kind of a proof is this, that since the angels of service use the term "calling" that this is a language of love?  But the explanation is, as the Chatam Sofer says: behold the verse "And one (angel) will call to the other" is translated (to Aramaic) in the Tirgum Yonatan by "And they receive one from another".  And on the face of things, what is the connection between a language of "receiving" to a language of "calling"?  But we see that by means of the angel calling to the angel who is smaller than he is, the smaller angel is given additional strength so that he can sanctify Hashem and say "Holy holy holy..."  (Yeshayahu 6:3).   And we thus find that the "calling" of the angels causes "receiving".  And that is why the Torah specifies also regarding the speech of Hashem to Moshe the language of "calling", to teach us that by means of this "calling", Moshe was given additional strength to receive the flow of prophesy and holiness,  and if so, it's simple that this is a language of love.  

"A man if he offers from you an offering to Hashem" (Vayikra 1:2) 

The Holy books write that there is a hint here, that if a man wants to bring himself
close to the Divine service of Hashem, he needs to negate all of his identity,
to submit himself to Hashem entirely, and to negate his "I", his ego. And that
is the intention of saying "A man if he offers 'from you'"; that is to say, if
he is prepared to sacrifice "from you", his identity, then he is worthy to be an
offering to Hashem.

"A man if he offers from you an offering to Hashem, from the cattle" (Vayikra 1:2) 

The Holy Alshich wrote, that the main point of the service of bringing an
offering to Hashem is, that he should think in his heart, that according strict
justice, it would be appropriate to have done to himself that which is done to
the cattle, to burn his limbs and dash his blood on the altar, G-d forbid,
because of the sins which he has committed. And it is only because of the great
mercy and kindness of Hashem, that the animal has exchanged places with the man.
And this is the intention of saying "A man if he offers from you", that is, the
man needs to offer himself, but the sacrifice to Hashem is from the cattle,
since the animal is in place of him.

"...from the animals -- from the cattle and from the flocks..."  (Vayikra 1:2)

Rashi says, one might be able to think wild animals are also included; to teach otherwise  the Torah says "cattle and flocks".  In the book "Eidut B'yosef" it is brought in the name of the Gaon Rav Ziskind M'Rotenberg z"l that behold, the early scholars found three reasons why we don't brinig sacrifices from wild animals: 1) The Holy One Blessed Be He said not to bother you to go out to forests.  The explanation of this is that domestic animals are found amongst people but wild animals are found only in forests and places which are distant so that the hand of man cannot easily obtain them.  2) Hashem requests the pursued and the domestic animals are always pursued by the wild animals that want to tear them apart.  3) The wild animal has pride and a conceited spirit, but the domestic animal is humble and its spirit is as low as the earth, and the Holy One Blessed Be He hates pride and a conceited spirit.  According to this, in the future to come, when it will be as it is written (Yeshayahu 11:7) "A lion like cattle will eat straw together in one trough and a small lad will lead them", it will be found then that wild animals will be easy to obtain, and also there will be peace between the domestic animal and the wild animal so the domestic animal will no longer be pursued.  Thus, it will only because of the third reason, a conceited spirit (that we would bring only domestic animals for an offering).  And this is the explanation of the verse in Tehillim (51:19), "The offerings to G-d are a broken spirit", that the sacrifices are only from domestic animals who have a broken spirit.  And it is thereby demonstrated that "a broken and humble heart, G-d, You will not despise" (Tehillim 51:19).  But if you will say that this is not important but rather the first two reasons given above, on this the verse says "Do good as You see fit to Tzion...Then You will desire the sacrifices of righteousness" (Tehillim 51:20-21).  That is to say, that then in the future to come, there will not be domestic animals who are pursued and also wild animals will be easily obtained, but even so, only "bulls will then be offered  on Your altar" (Tehillim 51:21).  And it is thereby demonstrated that the main reason is because "a broken heart You will not despise".  (Tehillim 51:21).

The Torah Portion of "Vayikra" has 111 verses. There are 11 positivecommandments and 5 negative commandments.The Haftorah is "Am Zu Yatzarti" (Yeshayahu 43:21-44:23)

May you all have a  light-filled and happy Shabbat.  
Shabbat Shalom.

In Nissan we were redeemed, and in Nissan we are to be redeemed in the future.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772

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