R' MATIS FRIEDMAN'S PARSHA SHEETS

VAYIKRA

“We daven everyday for the Bait HaMikdash to be rebuilt in order to offer sacrifices to Hashem; We daven for the sacrificial services to be restored... My brothers and friends, we must familiarize ourselves with all the Halachot having to do with the Bait HaMikdash!! As soon as Moshiach arrives the service will be reinstated and all the laws will apply. We will need to know all the laws. If we study the laws, we are entitled to ask from Hashem for Moshiach to come. When Hashem sees us preparing for him, He’ll certainly send Eliyahu and Moshiach.”
(THIS WAS IN A LETTER WRITTEN BY THE CHOFETZ CHAIM)
Let’s understand what Korbanot are. To understand a concept, we look at the word for it in Lashon HaKodesh (Hebrew). Korev - Means to approach, come near, come close. The makriv brings a korban to be korov to Hashem. The purpose of the korban is to seek kirvas Elokim (closeness to Hashem).

Although we use the word sacrifice to define korban, this is not the proper meaning of the word. Sacrifice means giving up for something or someone. If you were to treat your friend to lunch, would you consider that giving up? You would probably feel that you were gaining more from the relationship than you were giving of your money. If you love someone, you want to give to them. This is not a sacrifice.

For Mature Audiences Only;
Let’s understand the concept of Korbanot on a deeper level; Everything in this world is meant to be elevated spiritually by using it for the purpose of serving Hashem. When we give Tzeddaka, our hands become spiritually elevated. When we make a Bracha on food and eat it with the right intentions, the food itself becomes elevated. When we bring a Korbon, we’re taking an animal, a low form of a creation from Hashem and we elevate its’ status.

The Torah teaches us that this world is meant for us to use and enjoy, according to the guidelines set forth by the creator of the world. We serve Hashem using the world He gave us. The desires for marriage and food are given to us by Hashem Himself. They are not “bad,” they need to be used in the right way. At the right time, in the right circumstance, these desires are used to bring us closer to Hashem.

LESSON;
BUY KOSHER! MAKE A BRACHA! EAT AND ENJOY! Have in mind that you’re eating to have energy to live a productive JEWISH life. (It’s good to be Jewish!) LIVE A HOLY LIFE! USE THIS WORLD TO SERVE HASHEM!
STORY;
At the table of the great Tzaddik, sat many of his Chassidim. They watched their rebbe eat his Shabbos Seudah (meal). The rebbe ate his Seudah as if he was performing the service of the Kohain Gadol on Yom Kippur. The rebbe was about to eat his apple as one of the Chassidim thought to himself... "What’s the difference between me and the rebbe? I make a Bracha and eat an apple and he makes a Bracha and eats an apple." At that point, the Rebbe looks up towards that Chossid, as if he read his mind and responded; "You make a Bracha so you can eat the apple. I, on the other hand see the glory of Hashem in this world and want to bless Him, but one can’t just say a Bracha, so I take an apple to make the Bracha to Hashem."

After the Bait HaMikdash was destroyed, the Korbanot were replaced with;

  1. Davening - the way in which we come close to Hashem,
  2. Studying the laws of the Korbanot,
  3. T'shuvah - repentance, and
  4. Torah study - which outweighs all the sacrifices in the world!
The Parsha starts off with Hashem calling to Moshe. The word used is Vayikra. The Aleph in the word is written small. Why so? When Hashem dictated the Torah to Moshe and Hashem told Moshe this Passuk, he pleaded with Hashem not to write “And Hashem called Moshe.” This, Moshe felt, was too much of a praise for himself, that Hashem actually used his name. Instead, Moshe wanted to write “Vayikar” (and Hashem chanced upon Moshe). The compromise was made that the Aleph should be written small, thereby reading “Vayikra” but appearing as “Vayikar.”
LESSON:
Be Humble. Don’t show off to others how “great” you are.
STORY:
Rabbi Akiva Eiger, the leader of his generation, (approx. 150 years ago) was visiting a Rav of a neighboring town. On Shabbos during laining, Rabbi Akiva Eiger was given the honorable Aliyah over the Rav of the town. He was so humble, that he fainted out of embarrassment. Everyone crowded around the sage. They explained to him that he got the Aliyah since he was the Rav of a bigger city. Only then did he come back to consciousness. The mere thought of gaining honor over the Rav of the city made him faint.
LESSON:
There is no need to declare your stature to those who already know who you are, and where you stand.
STORY:
When Rav Shlomo Freifeld (founder and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv of Far Rockaway) was 15 years old he was shopping in a clothing store. The salesman offered the Rav underwear with his initials on it. Rav Shlomo looked at the salesman and replied, “Anyone who sees me in my underwear, knows my name.”

There’s no need to flaunt.

Hashem called to Moshe from the Ohel Moed - Tent of Meeting, saying;
“Say to B’nei Yisroel...”

LESSON:

Unless a person gives you permission to repeat what he tells you - keep quiet. If he tells you in front of 3 or more people and didn’t request secrecy, you can repeat it. Don’t repeat a secret and say “...BUT Don’t tell anyone”. That person didn’t want you to tell anyone but you did, SO WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS GUY WILL KEEP THE SECRET?!
STORY:
Rav Henkin (founder of 'Ezras Torah' - Tzeddaka to poor families) carried the responsibility of supporting many families. He never revealed the of those families whom received the hand outs (except on the occasion of a government audit).
There a 5 main Korbanot:
  1. Olah - completely consumed by fire
  2. Mincha - meal offering
  3. Shlomim - peace offering to thank Hashem on happy occasions
  4. Chatat - to atone for sins done by accident
  5. Asham - guilt offering
The Korban was a means to doing T'shuvah. Let’s look at the different steps of the Korban.
  1. Semicha - resting hands on the Korban brought forgiveness for deeds.
  2. Vidui - admitting the sin brought forgiveness for bad speech.
  3. Sereifat hakerev - burning animal's insides brought forgiveness for bad thoughts.
  4. Zerikat hadam - sprinkling animal's blood is in place of man’s blood that ought to be spilled as a result of his Aveira- transgression..
It is the kindliness of Hashem that we are spared and the animal is killed. The Korban is a visual aid to help us imagine what could have happened to us. Our life is spared and we can improve our ways, for that is what Hashem wants. How great and kind Hashem is that He gives us so many chances to return to Him. When we see the animal's fate, we appreciate the great gift of T'shuvah.
Animals which are kosher for Korbanot
  1. An ox - Avraham fetched an ox to serve his guests.
  2. A sheep - Yitzchok was replaced on the alter with a ram.
  3. A goat - Yaakov was instructed by Rivka, his mother to take 2 goats from the flock to bring to his father, Yaakov.
These animals are known to be chased by others. This shows us that Hashem sides with the victim. We are chased by the Yetzer HaRah (the part of us which tries to pull us away from Hashem) yet Hashem sides with us.

Moshe asked Hashem- "After the Bait HaMikdash is destroyed, what will B’nei Yisroel do to replace Korbanot?" Hashem replied: "Let them return to me. Their T'shuvah will take the place of Korbanot."

In the midst of the laws of Korbanot we find the Mitzvah of returning a stolen item. Anything stolen worth more than a penny must be returned.

We have the law of returning stolen objects over here to teach us that one shouldn't say "I will steal to offer a Korban and thereby be forgiven." Hashem says: "Know that I, Hashem, hate theft!"

STORY;
When the Chofetz Chaim was a young child, he was playing with friends near an orchard of apples. A basket of apples fell and the children ran off with the apples. When the young Chofetz Chaim learned the laws regarding stolen objects, he bought apples from the same person and ran off without them, thereby returning the stolen apples.
© 1998 by R' Matis Friedman, H.A.F.T.R.
R' Matis Friedman's email address is shprophets@aol.com

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