Vayikra 5774-2014

“The Essence of Sacrifice”

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firer argues that the primary purpose of the rituals of animal sacrifice is to prevent future sinful actions, rather than atone for past trespasses.

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Emor 5767-2007

"Waiting Until the Eighth Day"

The Torah states in Leviticus 22:27 that an animal must be at least eight days old before it may be offered for sacrifice. The commentators propose a host of original and interesting rationales to explain the purpose of this particular rule, underscoring the importance of the nuances that we derive from the textual study of the verses of the Torah.

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Vayikra 5767-2007

"Balancing Heart and Mind"

There is almost nothing more exacting in Jewish law and life than the procedures that are required when offering sacrifices. And yet, the Torah emphasizes the need to give of one's inner self, one's heart, in order to properly complement the precision that is so vital to proper fulfillment of the sacrificial process.

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Pinchas 5763-2003

"Can a Perfect G-d Sin?"

In the long list of sacrifices that appears in parashat Pinchas, we learn of the sin offering that is brought on Rosh Chodesh, the new moon sacrifice. In Numbers 28:15, the Torah instructs the priest to bring one he-goat "for a sin offering unto the Lord." However, the Hebrew "l'cha'taht la'Hashem" really means "a sin offering for G-d." The Talmud in Chullin 60b suggests that each month a sin offering is brought for G-d as an atonement for G-d's "sin" of reducing the size of the moon. There is much to learn from G-d's "sin offering."

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