Weekly Torah Portion: Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26 )


In this Torah portion, God describes the laws of animal sacrifice. God explains the different sacrifices that atone for guilt or sins, and distinguishes between sins committed inadvertently and sins committed on purpose. For many crimes, animal sacrifice is a way to gain forgiveness from God. Read an extensive summery on My Jewish Learning

Related D’var Torah

“It’s happening a lot in our country lately — people misunderstanding each other. People wanting the best but really at odds about what ‘best’ means, about what direction to take, about how to help the most people or who is really deserving of help; about what’s important, about what or who takes priority.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2017. read the full drash

“Love your neighbor as yourself, being one of the most famous, for example, reminding us that in order to love others we must first learn to love ourselves.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2014 Read the full drash

“It’s no easy task, no easy life, to be the ones who guide the others.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2004. Read the full drash

Torah Verse of the Week*

“When you bring-near a near-offering of a grain-gift baked in an oven, (it is to be) of flour: matzo/unleavened cakes mixed with oil, matza wafers spread with oil.” (Leviticus 2:4; Parashat Vayikra)

Other Suggested Readings

“There was a time in high school when I thought that if I lost weight everything in my life would be better.” – Leah Zimmerman writes in her blog Experiencing Torah

In this first parshah of Leviticus, we learn of five basic types of sacrifices, and seek insights into how these served the ancient Hebrew society. Check out G-dcast’s cartoon overview of Vayikra

In ‘Looking through the Smoke: A Transparent Message,’ URJ commentator Robert Tornberg argues underneath the seemingly inane details of Leviticus is its true message: “We are a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” More in the Telephone Torah Study archive

*Torah Verse of the Week is chosen by Rabbi Lisa Edwards during Tuesday’s Torah studies. Check out when our next Torah Study takes place

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