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Parshas Vayikra

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Parshas Vayikra
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Ben Ish Chai - Freebies are Nice, But...

The Ben Ish Chai in Ben Yehoyada Al HaTorah tells a story of a rich person who embarrasses a tzaddik in Shul. Later that day the tzaddik sends a basket of fruit to the rich parson with a note. "This morning when you embarrassed me you generously gave me all your mitzvos, so now I'd like you send you a gift as well." Mitzvos that we receive from others who speak Lashon Hara or embarrass us are called a gift "a Mincha".

However warns the Ben Ish Chai if these mitzvos that you bring with you to Shamayim are greater than your own personal mitzvos it will be quite embarrassing for you. You didn't really earn these. Therefore he says make sure that the mitzvos you earn yourself are even greater.

This is hinted in the words of the pasuk (2:1). "V'Nefesh Ki Sakriv Korbon Mincha Lashem", a person who brings with him other people's mitzvos to Shamayim. Soless Yihiyeh Korbonoy"; his own Korbon, his own mitzvos should be clean and pure like fine flour.


Salty Tears On A Korban

Al kol korban'cha takriv melach (2:13); We find repeatedly that the laws concerning Tefillah are derived from the Korbonos that were offered in the Bais HaMikdash - (Shacharis corresponds to the Tamid brought in the morning, Mussaf to the Korban Mussaf..) If so, where do we find in our Tefillah a parallel to the requirement that every Korban be accompanied by salt? I once heard an answer that our heartfelt, salty tears are intended to correspond to the "salt" which was brought together with every single Korban. These tears are the equivalent to salting the Korbanos.


Small Becomes Big

He called to Moshe." (Vayikra 1:1). The first word of this week's Parsha, Vayikra, is written with a small alef at the end. Chazal tell us that this was a compromise between Hashem and Moshe. When Hashem called out to Moshe, which signifies a very special honor, Moshe, who was extremely humble, didn't want to write it that way. He asked Hashem whether he could skip the Alef and write "Vayikar", which means, "He chanced" upon Moshe. Hashem said, "No, but you may write it with a small letter."

With this, we can understand a very amazing Medrash. We know that Moshe had rays of light shining from his face. The Medrash says that this came about when Moshe took the leftover ink from his quill and put it on his face. It gave him a special light. What ink was leftover? Why didn't Moshe have exactly the right amount of ink needed? In a homiletic approach we can understand it based on the previous thought. Moshe was an extremely humble person. He wanted to make sure that no attention is called to his greatness. Therefore, he wanted to write "Vayikar", and finally wrote "Vayikra" with a small Alef. When a person makes himself smaller, he eventually becomes greater, because people who are humble are those we appreciate and acknowledge. Anyone who runs from Kavod eventually receives even more Kovod. Moshe, who did not want anyone to know that Hashem called to him in a special way, ended up receiving even more Kavod, when his face shone before all, due to his communication with Hashem.


Meshech Chochma - Keeping Things Civil

The Meshech Chochmah asks, why concerning a Korban Olah and Shelamim does the pasuk refer to the sprinkling of the blood on the Mizbayach in the plural - "Vizarku" - "And they will sprinkle"; however, concerning a Korban Chatos, the pasuk speaks in the singular "Vitaval Etsbao BiDam" - He will dip his finger in the blood and smear it on the Mizbayach"?

He answers that the Torah would like to involve as many Kohanim in the Avodah as possible. Therefore, by an Olah and Shelamim, where their Matan Domim are done with a Kli (a Vessel), the Torah uses the plural, to tell us that 2 Kohanim should sprinkle the blood. One would take the vessel and sprinkle on 1 corner and a 2nd Kohen on the diagonally opposite corner. (Shtayim Shhain Arba). However, concerning a Chatas where no vessel was used, rather the Kohen would smear the blood with his finger on the Mizbayach, it would be repulsive for another Kohen to stick his finger in the same blood as the first Kohen, therefore only 1 Kohen was used. That is why the Torah uses the singular word "Vitaval" - "He will dip.


Rav Moshe Feinstein on Hashem's Booming Voice

"He called to Moshe..." Rashi says, the voice traveled and reached Moshe's ears, however, all of [Bnei] Yisrael did not hear. Rashi teaches us that the voice that reached Moshe's ears was very loud (see Rashi ‘Me'Ohel Moed'). Yet, for what purpose was it necessary for the voice to be so loud if couldn't be heard by Klal Yisrael anyway?

Reb Moshe Feinstein answered, the purpose of this Heavenly voice was that one should have felt that he was being commanded directly by Hashem himself even though we were actually taught the mitzvah through Moshe. Since the voice that reached Moshe was projected throughout the entire world, it was in truth, directed at us. The reason why we did not hear it was due to our own limitations. If we would have been worthy, we would have heard it as well. As such, the Hashem's command is more stringent than if only Moshe was instructed to tell us.


Will The Real Sacrificial Lamb Please Stand Up

VaYikra (1:2) "Adam Ki Yakriv Mikem Korban L(H)ashem", the pasuk calls a person's korban "A Korban to Hashem". The end of the pasuk says, "Min HaBiheima... Takrivu Es Korbanchem", referring to the Korban as "your Korban". Is it Hashem's Korban or is it yours?

The Tallilei Oros answers with a Shach who says that before bringing a korban a person must sacrifice himself to Hashem. Only then will the act of slaughtering and burning the animal be Michaper. If a person does not sacrifice himself then this ritual of animal slaughter is devoid of all meaning.

With this idea, he says we can explain this Pasuk. The first part says, "Adam Ki Yakriv Mikem" a person who sacrifices from within. That is a Korban L(H)ashem. However continues the pasuk, "Min HaBiheima" if he is only sacrificing the animal then it is the persons own korban and not for Hashem.

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