Questions and Concepts for Parsha Vayikrah
(Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26)
  1. Jewish children begin their study of the Torah, not with the book of Genesis, but with the book of Leviticus. How does this different "order of the books" impact the study of Torah?
  2. Another name for the book of Leviticus is the "Torah of the Priests," as much of it concerns the Tabernacle/Temple sacrifices and the priestly service. As Israel is a "Kingdom of Priests," this means all the people, not only the Levitical Priests, can learn about serving God. What benefit is there to studying the sacrificial system and priesthood, when their is no standing Temple? How does this compare with God telling the people to "study the measurements and form" of the third (Millennial) Temple as found in Ezekiel 43:10-11?
  3. Sacrifices did not begin with the Tabernacle. Adam, Able, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses all offered animal sacrifices before this. What does that tell us about the knowledge of Torah before Sinai? (Compare to what God says about Abraham in Genesis 26:5.)
  4. What is the significance of the priest placing blood on the four "horns" of the altar? Does this relate to the "four corners of the earth?"
  5. What is the relationship between the Tabernacle and the sin of the golden calf at Mount Sinai? What would have happened had the Children of Israel not committed that sin? Would there have been a need for the Levitical Priesthood and Tabernacle?
  6. Man's physical self causes him to sin, while his soul longs to be with God. Yet the Torah speaks of the physical man bringing the sacrifice (Leviticus 1:2) and his soul sinning (Leviticus 4:1). What does this tell us of the relationship between the body and soul?
  7. The sacrifice is called "korbon" which has the root 'karov' which means "drawing close." As God is "with us" in this world, how did the sacrifices draw us "closer" to God?
  8. Consider this concept:
    Affected through the sacrifice are all four levels of existence: domaim (literally, "silent" referring to the mineral world), tzomayach ("spouted" referring to the vegetation world), chayah ("living" referring to the animal world), and medabehr ("speaking" referring to man). The salt used rectifies and elevates the mineral world; the wood used for the altar elevates and purifies the vegetation world; the animal itself impacts the animal world, and man, who performs the sacrifice is affected by all of this, and through him, everything is elevated closer toward G-d.