Commentary on Parashat Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26
- Which offering was considered the most holy and why?
- What ingredients are specifically mentioned as being omitted from all meal offerings? Was honey permitted? Why or why not? Was salt permitted? Why or why not? And what is the significance of putrefaction or preservation?
- For a peace offering of the herd, was the animal supposed to be male or female?
- What was done with the fat and blood from these sacrifices, and what statute does this connect to today?
- What is the Hebrew word for “meal offering”?
- What is the difference between a free will meal offering and a meal offering brought for a sin?
- Why did the person bringing a sacrifice place his hands on the head of the animal?
- If someone caused a loss to the Sanctuary by unintentionally taking a holy thing for his/her use, what was the required sacrifice?
- What was the penalty if one committed a sin against a neighbor, such as not returning a found article, and why might this recompense be unfair to the aggrieved?
- In the beginning of this parashah, from where did God’s voice come when He spoke to Moses?
- The meal offering was considered the most holy because it could only be eaten by the priests and only within the precincts of the Sanctuary (2:3).
- Leaven was omitted from all meal offerings. Honey was not permitted because it putrefies. Salt was supposed to be used in meal offerings because it prevents putrefaction. Putrefaction symbolizes moral degradation and salt symbolizes that which is lasting, such as our Covenant with God (2:11-13).
- Either male or female animals were acceptable (3:1).
- Fat was burned in the fire as a sweet savor to God. The blood was sprinkled around the altar, sometimes on the horns of the altar. From this we learn that we are commanded forever not to eat blood or fat (3:2-4, 17).
- Minha is Hebrew for meal offering (2:3).
- For a meal offering brought for a sin, no oil or frankincense was mixed with the fine flour (2:1).
- This symbolized that the animal was designated as the substitute for the person who brought it (1:4).
- A ram without blemish out of the flock, restitution of the item used, plus a 20% penalty (5:15-16).
- The offender would be required to restore the item in full, plus pay 20%, of the value at the time of the offense. With inflation, the aggrieved might only receive a fraction of the value of what was stolen if he was paid in currency (5:21-26).
- God’s voice came from the tent of meeting (1:1).
Provided by the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, exploring Torah through the original sources.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.