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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah


Vayikra – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Kashering a Frying Pan

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 20, 2024

וְאִם־מִנְחָ֥ה עַל־הַמַּֽחֲבַ֖ת קָרְבָּנֶ֑ךָ סֹ֛לֶת בְּלוּלָ֥ה בַשֶּׁ֖מֶן מַצָּ֥ה תִֽהְיֶֽה: If your offering is a meal offering on a griddle, it shall be of choice flour with oil mixed in, unleavened. Vayikra 2:5 QUESTION—Washington, D.C. Can a kosher frying pan used to cook a treif chicken with no oil or anything be kashered?…

Taking Risks in Our Relationship with God

by Rabbi Dani Passow
Posted on March 20, 2024

In Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Here I Am, the following scene unfolds with the protagonist, Jacob, and his wife Julia. Jacob narrates: “Let’s do something special,” I suggested a month before Julia’s fortieth birthday. “Something unlike us. A party. A blowout: band, ice cream truck, magician.”…

Let Go and Let God!

by Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev
Posted on March 23, 2023

Parsha Vayikra opens up with Hashem calling out to Moshe: “Vayikra el Moshe” (Vayikra 1:1). In the word vayikra there is a small letter aleph. This is a unique occurrence because we only find small letters in eight other places in the Torah.…

Performing Mitzvot: Now or Later? 

by Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn
Posted on March 10, 2022

With the arrival of Parashat Vayikra, we are now in the parshiot of the korbanot, the sacrifices, which as moderns can sometimes feel a little difficult to relate to. I want to highlight one curious aspect of bringing korbanot that arises in the fifth chapter.…

Smelling Good…

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2021

“The priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet savor unto the Lord” (Vayikra, 1:13). We are told eight times in this week’s parasha that the sacrifices are a “sweet savor” to God. …

The Relationship Between Parashat Vayikra and Parashat Tzav

by Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein
Posted on November 1, 2016

Sacrifices? What Sense Does that Make?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 17, 2016

The second half of the book of Shemot focused on creating the Mishkan as a Sanctuary in which God Godself could dwell among the Children of Israel. In contrast, the book of Vayikra focuses on what is done in that Sanctuary: first and foremost, the bringing of sacrifices. …

Does God Need our Sacrifices?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 7, 2014

The building of the Mishkan which took up the second half of the Book of Shemot, focused on creating a Sanctuary as a place for God’s Presence to dwell, for God Godself to dwell among the Children of Israel.  In contrast, the book of Vayikra focuses on what is done in that Sanctuary – which is, first and foremost, the bringing of sacrifices. …

A Thought on the Parsha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 14, 2013

There is a well-know debate regarding the desirability of sacrifices.  Rambam, like many moderns, was also bothered by the institution of sacrifices, and stated that God had only commanded them as a concession to human weakness. In his Guide to the Perplexed (III:32), he states that God commanded them as a way of weaning the people away from idolatry.…

Tzav and Vayikra – Some Additional Thoughts

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 22, 2011

In another post we discussed the differences between Tzav and Vayikra, focusing on the order in which the korbanot are listed.    As a wrap-up of that discussion, here are some additional differences worth noting: Tzav’s discussion of the olah is very brief (6:1-6), without an enumeration of all the possible different animals.  …

What Is Most Dear to Us that We Bring to God?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 19, 2010

Parshat Vayikra introduces us into the world of korbanot. The institution of sacrifices is a very difficult concept for many today. How do we understand why God would want or need sacrifices? And even if they are for us, as a way to connect to God, the acts involved in bringing sacrifices – slaughtering, sprinkling the blood, burning of the fats – seem much too bloody, gory, and smelly to constitute an elevated religious experience.…