The Midrash states (Midrash – Vayikra Raba 36:2) “Just as a grape vine has large and small clusters and the large clusters hang lower, so too with the Jewish people: Whoever labors in Torah and is greater in Torah, seems lower than his fellow [due to his humility].”

The Torah’s concept of greatness is ironic. Shouldn’t the great people be up on ivory towers, peering down at the peons below? Those who know so much, shouldn’t they be full of pride at their accomplishments?

I had a chance this week to visit NY where we lived for several years. I was there to celebrate the ordination of Rabbi Mati Kos, Poland’s first native born post-Holocaust Rabbi, who graduated on Sunday from Ohr Somayach Yeshiva. Rabbi Kos spent his entire speech thanking in detail all the people that helped him get to where he is today. He went out of his way to thank with a genuine heart. I saw the truth of the Midrash that beautiful and historic day. Thank you Rabbi Kos for inspiring us, we have a lot to learn from you. Good Shabbos. Shabbat Shalom.

Summary of The Weekly Torah Reading:
Parshas Vayikra

1st & 2nd & 3rd Aliyot: The instructions for offering a “Oleh” – burnt offering (fully consumed on the Alter) is detailed. This offering could be brought from a bull, or male sheep or goat. The less expensive “Oleh”, using a Turtle Dove or common dove, is described. The Mincha, an offering made from baked, fried, or deep fried matzoh type crackers is detailed.

4th Aliya: The Korban Shlomim – the peace offering, brought from male or female cattle, sheep, and goats is described.

5th Aliya: This aliya describes this Korban Chatas – the sin offering. Three unique sin offerings are described:

1. When the High Priest sinned
2. If the King sinned
3. If the entire nation sinned because of a wrong ruling by the Sanhedrin – High Court. Note: A Korban Chatas could only be offered if the sin was unintentional.

6th & 7th Aliyot:The Korban Chatas of a commoner is detailed, as well as the specifics of the Korban Asham – the guilt offering. This Korban was offered in instances where intentional wrong doing was implicated; such as not fulfilling an assumed oath, or doing something questionable without first ascertaining the law. Additionally, a type of Asham was offered in instances of dishonesty and swearing falsely.

Parsha Summary by Rabbi Aron Tendler
Rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation, Valley Village, CA

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Rabbi Yonah

1 Comment

  • I thought it was worth noting that the Hebrew word “anav” means humble, and “anavim” are grapes.

    And mazal tov to Rabbi Bocher!