When Is Vayikra Read?
God instructs Moses on the five different kinds of sacrifices that were to be offered in the sanctuary:
- The olah or "burnt offering" was a voluntary sacrifice that had a high degree of sanctity and was regarded as the "standard" offering. The entire animal, except for its hide, was burned on the altar. (1:1-17)
- The minchah or "meal offering" was a sacrifice made of flour, oil, salt, and frankincense that was partly burned on the altar and partly given to the priests to eat. (2:1-16)
- The zevach sh'lamim or "sacrifice of well-being" was a voluntary animal offering from one's herd, sometimes brought to fulfill a vow. (3:1-17)
- The chatat or "sin offering" was an obligatory sacrifice that was offered to expiate unintentional sins. This offering differs from the others in the special treatment of the blood of the animal. (4:1-5:13)
- The asham or "penalty offering" was an obligatory sacrifice of a ram that was required chiefly of one who had misappropriated property. (5:1-26)
Ten Minutes of Torah: Vayikra Commentary
The Book of Leviticus assumes that offerings of animals and grain, sometimes accompanied by libations of wine or oil, are appropriate expressions of gratitude toward God and mechanisms through which one atones for sin. Vayikra, the opening parashah of Leviticus, offers Israel instructions on the...Continue Reading
More Vayikra Commentaries
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Parashat Vayikra: Why were Ancient Sacrifices Important?
Listen to Podcasts About Vayikra
Listen to Rabbi Rick Jacobs discuss Parashat Vayikra in these episodes of his podcast, On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah.