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PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.
MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL .
Menachim Z. Shimanowitz
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| פרשת ויקרא
NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 16
11 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
5 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION
NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 111
NUMBER OF WORDS: 1673
NUMBER OF LETTERS: 6222
This year, (5778 / 2018) Vayikra is a special Shabbat.
It is Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh : פרשת החדש
The Shabbat preceding
Rosh Chodesh Nisan, (or when Rosh Chodesh Nisan
falls on Shabbat, the Shabbat of Rosh Chodesh
Nisan, as it is this year) it is called Shabbat HaChodesh.
We take out three Sifrei Torah;
six Aliyahs in the first Sefer Torah from the weekly Parsha — Vayikra; followed by putting the second Sefer Torah on the bima, then lifting and closing of the first Sefer Torah, in the second Torah we read one Aliyah in Parshat Pinchas –
(Bamidbar / Numbers 28:9-15) the two paragraphs " וביום
השבת " and " ובראשי חדשיכם " ; the third Sefer
Torah is placed next to the second, and a Half-Kaddish is said over both of them; the
second Sefer Torah is lifted and closed; The Maftir, reads in the third Sefer Torah from Shmot / Exodus, Parshat Bo, (12:1-20).
פרשת החדש, starts
with the first Mitzva given to the Bnei Yisroel,
while they were still in Mitzrayim, even before the Mitzvot
of the Yom Tov Pesach (Passover festival) - the Mitzva
of Kiddush Hachodesh (the sanctification of the new
moon). The reading begins with the declaration that the Hebrew
month of Nisan, and not Tishrei, is to be considered
the first month of the year. The passage then continues with
some of the mitzvot of Pesach
/ Passover, which are certainly appropriate to be read and
studied as the holiday approaches.
HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yechezkel / Ezekiel 45:16-46:18
Yechezkel / Ezekiel 45:18-46:15 (Sepharadim)
Some Sephardic communities begin the Haftora with 45:16.
Today is Rosh Chodesh Nisan.
In our last episode, the Bnei Yisrael celebrated
the Chanukat (inauguration of) Hamishkan for 8
days, During these 8 days, Hashem instructed Moshe in the
rituals performed by Kohanim and Leviyim.
As our Parsha opens, the Shechina has descended
and filled the Kodesh Hakodoshim. Hashem informs
Moshe that He will meet with him in the Mishkan.
But Moshe won't cross the line!
Here's one reason why: Moshe's standing in front of the Mishkan
surrounded by all the Jewish people who have contributed materials
to the building of the Mishkan. He's the only one who
gave nothing. So Hashem tells him: "Their job is
done but yours has just begun. Come into the Mishkan
and I will give you instructions concerning the Korbanot
(sacrifices) so that you may teach them to the Kohanim and
types of unblemished, kosher domestic animals may be used for Korbanot
in the Mishkan. Each one reminds us of the greatness of
the Avot (forefathers):
- OX - Avrohom ran to get an ox to serve his guests.
- SHEEP - Yitzchok is compared to a lamb when he was brought
as a sacrifice.
- GOAT - Yaakov was instructed by Rivka to take two kid goats
from the flock and bring them to his father.
Only two kinds of birds can be offered.
- Mature turtle DOVES
- Young DOVES (pigeons).
| Parshat Vayikra
introduces 5 types of korbanot.
- Olah (burnt offering).
Let's say that you're just in the mood to donate a korban
as a gift to Hashem of your own free will. You have
a choice of giving an ox, a lamb, a goat, a turtledove or
a pigeon. Based on your bankbook, you bring whichever one
you can afford. The birds may be male or female. The animals,
however, must be male.
But don't think Hashem won't appreciate your korban!
For your unsolicited effort, Hashem will forgive
any sins that involve neglecting a positive Mitzvah,
transgression of certain negative commandments, and thinking
This Korban is completely burned on the Mizbayach
- Korban Mincha (meal offering).
If a person is too poor to afford even a bird offering,
he can offer a Korban Mincha, made up of flour, oil
and spices. The combo can be prepared 5 different ways;
1 raw, 2 baked and 2 fried.
With all these varieties, the Torah forbids the
use of leavened dough, the dough may not rise. (shades of
The Kohain carries the Mincha offering
to the southwest corner of the Mizbayach. He places
his hand in the vessel containing the flour mixture and, bending
three middle fingers over his palm, he fills it with flour.
He uses the thumb and pinky to wipe off any excess flour.
This procedure is called Kemitza. This fistful, topped
by the spices and salted, is then burned on the Mizbayach.
The rest of the Mincha is divided among the Kohanim
for them to eat.
- Korban Shlamim (peace offering).
The Korban Shlamim, which may be a male or female
animal, is a peace offering. Let's say you're feeling extra
special and everything's going your way. The Shlamim
is a great way to make Hashem a part of that feeling.
Shlamim means peace, because everyone shares in this
korban. The Mizbayach gets its part. The
owner and his family get most of the animal to eat, and even
the kohanim get in on the action, as they receive
the chest and leg to eat.
- Korban Chatat (sin offering).
There are different kinds of Korban Chatat listed
in Parshat Vayikra.
- This is the most common example. Let's say you make a
mistake and accidentally transgress certain types of negative
commandments. You must bring a Korban Chatat. This
Korban must be a female goat or sheep only.
- Bull of the Kohain Gadol.
If a Kohain Gadol, ruled in error that a particular
act is permitted and he himself performed this act in
sin, he must bring a Bull as a Korban. (Again
- this only applies to certain sins).
- Bull for Hidden Matters.
If the Sanhedrin, (the 70 member Jewish Supreme
Court), issued a mistaken ruling as a result of which
a majority of Bnei Yisroel transgressed a negative
commandment, the Sanhedrin must bring a Bull
as a Korban. (Again - this only applies to certain
- The King's He-goat.
If the King makes a mistake and accidentally transgress
a negative commandment. (Only certain ones). He must bring
a Korban Chatat, except that his korban
must be a male goat.
- Korban Oleh V'Yored. (the Adjustable sacrifice).
This Korban Chatat is brought when a person;
lies under oath claiming he does not know of facts in
a case that he really knows about, or
accidentally lies under oath, or
enters the Mishkan while impure.
This Korban calls for a female goat or sheep. However,
If a person cannot afford an animal, one may bring two turtledoves
or pigeons. The first bird offered is the Korban Chatat,
while the second bird is a Korban Olah. If one can't
even afford the birds, he must bring a Mincha sin offering
consisting only of wheat meal with no oil or spices. This is
why this Korban is called Korban Oleh V'Yored (the
Adjustable sacrifice). The requirements are adjusted according
to a person's means.
- Korban Asham (guilt offering).
There are five reasons to bring a "guilt offering."
Only 3 are mentioned in this Parsha:
- Let's say Reuven steals from Shimon, and then Reuven swears
in Bet Din (court) that he did not steal. But Reuven
starts to feel guilty. He must return what he stole plus
one-fifth of the value more. Then he brings the Korban
Asham Gezailot (for stealing).
- If a person uses something that's dedicated to the Mishkan
for personal pleasure, like wood that is dedicated for burning
on the Mizbayach. This is called Me'ila
(embezzlement). For this sin a person pays back the value
plus one fifth and brings a ram as a Korban Asham Me'ilot.
- If a person eats meat that contains fat, but he's not
sure if the fat is Chailev (forbidden fat). He
brings an Asham Taluy (doubt). If he later finds
out that it really was forbidden fat he must then bring
a Korban Chatat.
| The Parsha
introduces two new commandments.
One is the Mitzvah for a Kohain to salt all
sacrifices on the Mizbayach.
The second Mitzvah is about stolen objects:
If a guy steals a salami, for example, he isn't allowed to eat it
and pay the owner back with money. It is a Mitzvah to return
the original salami. If he already ate it, he has to pay the value
plus an additional fifth (20%).
The Parsha also mentions not to eat blood or certain
fats of animals.
explains to Moshe the basic rules of bringing a Korban.
This is the way it's done:
- Hava'a (bringing a korban): Let's say you
want to bring a korban. The first step is for you,
yourself, to bring the animal to the Azara (the courtyard
of the Mishkan).
- Semicha (resting the hands).
Next you take both hands and place them on the animal's
head with all your might.
- Vidui (confession).
During Semicha, If you are bringing the sacrifice
to make up for a sin, it's time to confess! And not edited
versions either! You've got to say "I have sinned in
such-and-such a way and I did teshuva. May this korban
make up for my sin!"
- Shechita (slaughtering).
Now the animal is slaughtered on the north side of the Azara,
even by a non-Kohain.
- Kabalat Ha'dam (receiving the blood).
A kohain catches the flowing blood in a "kli
sharait", a special pan built for this purpose.
- Holacha (walking).
The Kohain takes the pan with the blood over to
- Zerika (sprinkling).
The Kohain sprinkles some of the blood onto the
- Shefichat Sherayim (pouring the left over blood).
The Kohain pours the left over blood onto the base
of the Mizbayach where it drains.
- Hafshait venitu'ach (skinning and severing).
The animal is skinned and cut up.
- Hadacha (rinsing).
The pieces of the Korban are rinsed.
- Melicha Vehaktara (salting and burning).
The parts of the animal that are burned are brought to the
ramp of the Mizbayach. They are salted and brought
to the top of the Mizbayach. The "gid hanasheh",
the sciatic nerve in the animal's thigh, is removed and the
Kohain places the animal parts in the fire where
they are completely burned up.
| Sacrificing a bird
is a whole different story!
Ever hear that a kohain's thumb nail was long and sharp?
Well, it's true! That's because when it comes to sacrificing a bird,
there's no knife involved. The Kohain just uses his nail
to slice through the windpipe, throat and neck bone. With four fingers
the Kohain holds the neck and with the thumb of the same
hand he slices. This step is called "Melika"
(nipping). This is one of the most difficult jobs in the Mishkan
requiring great skill.
Next comes "Mitzui ha'dam," pressing the
blood. The kohain squeezes the bird's blood out onto
Now the bird's head is salted and burned on the Mizbayach.
This is called "Haktarat Harosh."
The bird's intestines and crop are disposed of in the "Bait
Hadeshen" - a place on the eastern side of the Mizbayach.
Lastly, the Kohain pulls the bird apart by hand into
two connected halves (not split completely - the two parts remain
attached). The bird is then burned completely on the Mizbayach.
Tune in next week as Hashem speaks to the sons of Aharon
about - you guessed it! - more Korbanot in the next episode
the Midrash Maven on Vayikra
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