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  KD MAGAZINE!      ב"ה                    
 
 
  PARSHAT VAYIKRA  
 

By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

RABBI YONASSAN BIGGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B”H

Shalom and Bracha!

This Shabbat we read the portion of Vayikra. After the construction of the Temple in last week’s portion, this week begins the commandments concerning the offerings in the Temple. Although the Temple is currently not standing, and the literal fulfillment of these Mitzvot is beyond our grasp until Moshiach comes, there are deep lessons to be learned from them in our daily lives. Further, since we cannot fulfill these Mitzvot through action, our studying of them is their fulfillment.

  The portion begins with the word Vayikra, which means and He (G-d) called (to Moshe). The Alef in the word Vayikra is smaller than the other letters in the Torah scroll. This teaches us that in order to hear the call of Hashem, we must be humble. We mustn’t approach the Torah with preconceived notions, but rather be ready and anxious to learn the will of Hashem. The Mitzvah of Matzah echoes this idea. The Matzah does not rise, symbolizing humility.

The small Aleph teaches another deep lesson. Without the Aleph, the word becomes Vayakar, which means coincidence. Everything in the world is by Divine providence. Often that which appears as a coincidence is Hashem calling out to us. We must always seek the lesson from whatever we see.

  The Ramban teaches that when a person brings a sacrifice, he should imagine that all of the procedures that are done to the animal are being done to him. Hashem, by His kindness, allowed us to bring an animal in our stead. Chassidut goes a step deeper. The laws of the sacrifices teach us how to live our daily lives. The primary portions of the animal that were offered on the altar were the blood and the fats. Blood is the life and warmth of our bodies. Although much of our time is spent in mundane pursuit, the excitement and warmth should be dedicated purely to Hashem. The word Cheilev in Hebrew means not only fat, but also the finest. Whatever we possess or come across, the very finest should be reserved for the service of Hashem.

In a deeper sense we must sacrifice the animal within ourselves. When the Torah introduces the subject of offerings, it says “A person who will offer from among you a sacrifice to Hashem from the animals, the cattle or the sheep, you shall bring your sacrifice. The grammar of the sentence demands a deeper understanding. The words “from among you” seemingly should follow the words “A person”. The Previous Rebbe explains that the Torah is hinting that the sacrifice comes from amongst you, from the animal within each of us.

We are a composite of two souls. Our animal soul parallels the soul of every living creature. It draws us to fulfill our mundane needs and wallow in mundane pleasure. By its nature, it is the epitome of selfishness. Our Divine soul is the spark of G-d within us that makes us strive to become closer to Hashem. Whenever we break our desires for the service of Hashem, we are sacrificing our animal soul. The Torah tells us that the sacrifice can come from the cattle or the sheep. Some of us have a very course animal soul like a huge ox. Some have a meek nature like a sheep. Regardless, we must overcome our nature and become G-dly beings.

  May our studying of the sacrifices hasten the rebuilding of the Temple and may we celebrate this Pesach in Yerushalayim together with Moshiach. 

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Biggs

 

  Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/
 
 

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