Children's Parshat

Parashat VaYikra

[Hebrew] VaYikra
Leviticus (VaYikra) 1:1 – 5:26

Burnt Offerings of Cattle

HaShem called to Moses, speaking to him from the Communion Tent. He said: Speak to the Israelites, and tell them the following:
When one of you brings a mammal as an offering to HaShem, the sacrifice must be taken from the cattle, sheep or goats. If the sacrifice is a burnt offering taken from the cattle, it must be an unblemished male. One must bring it of his own free will to the entrance of the Communion Tent, before HaShem.

He shall press his hands on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall then be accepted as an atonement for him. He shall have the young bull slaughtered before HaShem. Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall then bring forth the blood, dashing it on all sides of the altar that is in front of the Communion Tent’s entrance. He shall have the burnt offering skinned and cut into pieces.

Aaron’s sons shall place fire on the altar, and arrange wood on the fire. Aaron’s sons shall then arrange the cut pieces, the head, and the fatty intestinal membrane on top of the wood that is on the altar fire.

The inner organs and legs, however, must first be scrubbed with water. The priest shall thus burn the entire animal on the altar as a completely burnt fire offering to HaShem, an appeasing fragrance.

Burnt Offerings of Smaller Animals

If one’s burnt offering is a smaller animal, it shall be taken from the sheep or goats; and one must likewise present an unblemished male.

He shall have it slaughtered on the north side of the altar before HaShem, and the priests who are Aaron’s descendants shall dash its blood on all sides of the altar. The animal shall be cut into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, along with the head and intestinal membrane, on top of the wood on the altar fire. The internal organs and feet shall first be washed with water, and the priest shall then offer everything, burning it on the altar. It is a completely burnt fire offering, an appeasing fragrance to HaShem.

Burnt Offerings of Birds

If one’s burnt offering is a bird, he must bring a turtle dove or a young common dove. The priest shall bring it to the altar and nip off its head. After draining the bird’s blood on the altar’s wall, he shall burn the head on the altar. He shall remove the bird’s crop along with its adjacent feathers and cast them into the place of the fatty ashes, directly to the east of the altar.

He shall split the bird apart by its wings without tearing it completely in half. The priest shall then burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a fire offering that is an appeasing fragrance to HaShem.

The Meal Offering

If an individual presents a meal offering to HaShem, his offering must consist of the best grade of wheat meal. On it, he shall pour olive oil and place frankincense. He shall bring it to the priests who are Aaron’s descendants, and a priest shall scoop out three fingers full of its meal and oil, and then take all the frankincense. The priest shall then burn this memorial portion on the altar as a fire offering, an appeasing fragrance to HaShem.

The rest of the meal offering shall belong to Aaron and his descendants. It is holy of holies among the fire offerings to HaShem.

The Baked Offering

If he brings a meal offering that was baked in an oven, it shall consist either of unleavened loaves made of wheat meal mixed with olive oil, or flat matzahs saturated with olive oil.

The Pan Offering

If the sacrifice is a pan fried offering, it shall be made of wheat meal mixed with olive oil, and it shall remain unleavened. Break it into little pieces, and pour olive oil on it. In this respect it is like every other meal offering.

The Deep Fried Offering

If your sacrifice is a meal offering prepared in a deep pot, it shall be made of wheat meal in olive oil. You may thus bring a meal offering in any of these ways as an offering to HaShem. It shall be presented to the priest and brought to the altar.

The priest shall then lift out the memorial portion from the meal offering, and burn it on the altar. It is a fire offering, an appeasing fragrance to HaShem.

The remainder of the meal offering then belongs to Aaron and his descendants. It is holy of holies, one of HaShem’s fire offerings.

Do not make any meal offering that is sacrificed to God out of leavened dough. This is because you may not burn anything fermented or sweet as a fire offering to HaShem. Although these may be brought as a first-fruit offering to HaShem, they may not be offered on the altar as an appeasing fragrance.

You must salt every meal offering. Do not leave out the salt of your HaShem’s covenant from your meal offerings. Furthermore, you must also offer salt with your animal sacrifices.

The First Grain Offering

When you bring an offering of the first grain, it should be brought as soon as it ripens on the stalk. Your first grain offering shall consist of fresh kernels of barley, roasted in a perforated pan, and then ground into coarse meal. Place olive oil and frankincense on it, just like for any other meal offering.

As a fire offering to HaShem, the priest shall then burn the memorial portion taken from its coarse meal and oil, as well as all its frankincense.

Peace Offerings of Cattle

If one’s sacrifice is a peace offering and it is from the cattle, he may offer either an unblemished male or an unblemished female before HaShem. He shall press his hands on the head of the sacrifice, and have it slaughtered at the entrance of the Communion Tent. The priests who are Aaron’s descendants shall dash its blood on all sides of the altar.

The portion of the peace offerings that must be presented as a fire offering to HaShem must include the layer of fat covering the stomachs and all the other fat attached to the stomachs. The two kidneys along with the fat on them along the flanks, and the lobe over the liver near the kidneys must also be removed.

Aaron’s descendants shall burn this on the altar, along with the burnt offering which is on the wood on the fire. It is a fire offering, an appeasing fragrance to HaShem.

Peace Offerings of Sheep

If one’s sacrifice for a peace offering to HaShem is taken from the smaller animals, he may also present an unblemished male or female animal. If he brings a sheep as his sacrifice, he shall present it before HaShem. He shall press his hands on the head of the sacrifice and have it slaughtered in front of the Communion Tent. Aaron’s descendants shall then dash its blood on all sides of the altar.

He shall present the choicest parts of his peace offering as a fire offering to HaShem, removing the broad tail up to the backbone, along with the layer of fat covering the stomachs and all the other fat attached to the stomachs. The two kidneys along with the fat on them along the flanks, and the lobe over the liver near the kidneys, must also be removed.

The priest shall burn them on the altar, to be consumed as a fire offering to HaShem.

Peace Offerings of Goats

If his sacrifice is a goat, he shall present it before HaShem. He shall press his hands on its head, and have it slaughtered before the Communion Tent. Aaron’s descendants shall then dash its blood on all sides of the altar.

As his fire offering sacrifice to HaShem, he shall present the layer of fat that covers the stomachs, and all the other fat attached to the stomachs. The two kidneys along with the fat on them along the flanks, and the lobe over the liver near the kidneys, shall also be removed.

The priests shall burn them on the altar, to be consumed as a fire offering, an appeasing fragrance. All the prescribed internal fat thus belongs to HaShem.

It shall be an eternal law, for all your generations, that you are not to eat any internal fat that is normally sacrificed nor any blood, no matter where you may live.

Sin Offerings for the High Priest

HaShem spoke to Moses with instructions to speak to the Israelites and tell them the following:

This is the law if an individual commits an inadvertent sin by violating certain specified prohibitory commandments of HaShem. If the anointed priest commits an inadvertent violation, bringing guilt to his people, the sacrifice for his violation shall be an unblemished young bull as a sin offering to HaShem.

He shall bring the bull before HaShem to the entrance of the Communion Tent, and press his hands on the bull’s head. He shall then slaughter the bull before HaShem.

The anointed priest shall take the bull’s blood and bring it into the Communion Tent. The priest shall dip his finger into the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before HaShem toward the cloth partition in the sanctuary. The priest shall then place some of the blood on the incense altar which is before HaShem in the Communion Tent. He shall then spill out all the rest of the bull’s blood at the base of the sacrificial altar, which is in front of the Communion Tent’s entrance.

He shall separate out all the fat of the sin offering bull, taking the layer of fat covering the stomachs, and all the fat attached to the stomachs. The two kidneys, the fat on them along the flanks, and the lobe on the liver near the kidneys, shall also be removed. All these are the same as the parts removed from the peace offering. The priest shall then burn them on the sacrificial altar.

He shall take the bull’s skin and all its flesh, from head to toe, as well as the food in its intestines. The entire bull shall thus be removed to the ritually pure place outside the camp, where the altar’s ashes are deposited. It shall be burned in fire on the wood in the place where the ashes are deposited.

Sin Offerings for the Community

If the entire community of Israel commits an inadvertent violation as a result of the truth being hidden from the congregation’s eyes, and they violate one of the specified prohibitory commandments of HaShem, they shall incur guilt.

When the violation that they have committed becomes known, the congregation must bring a young bull as a sin offering, presenting it before the Communion Tent. The community elders shall press their hands on the bull’s head before HaShem, and it shall be slaughtered before HaShem.

The anointed priest shall bring some of the bull’s blood into the Communion Tent, and dipping his finger into the blood, he shall sprinkle it seven times before HaShem toward the cloth partition.

He shall then place some of the blood on the horns of the incense altar that is before HaShem in the Communion Tent. He shall spill out all the rest of the blood at the base of the sacrificial altar which is in front of the Communion Tent’s entrance.

He shall then separate out all of its fat, and burn it on the altar, doing with this bull exactly as he did with the bull sacrificed as a sin offering for the anointed priest. The priest shall thus make atonement for the community so that they will be forgiven.

He shall remove the bull to a place outside the camp, and burn it just as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the entire congregation.

Sin Offerings for the King

If the leader commits a sin by inadvertently violating certain of HaShem’s prohibitory commandments, he incurs guilt. When he is made aware of the sin that he has committed, he must bring an unblemished male goat as his sacrifice. He shall press his hands on the goat’s head, and have it slaughtered as a sin offering in the same place that the burnt offering was slaughtered before HaShem.

The priest shall take the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and place it on the protrusions of the sacrificial altar. The rest of the blood shall be poured out at the base of the sacrificial altar. All the animal’s fat shall be burned on the altar, just like the fat of the peace offerings. The priest shall thus make atonement for the leader, and he will be forgiven.

Sin Offerings for Commoners

If a commoner commits an inadvertent violation by violating any one of certain specified prohibitory commandments of HaShem, he incurs guilt. When he is made aware of the violation he has committed, he must bring an unblemished female goat for the sin he committed.

He shall press his hands on the head of the sin offering, and have the sin offering slaughtered in the same place as the burnt offering. The priest shall take some of the goat’s blood with his finger and place it on the protrusions of the sacrificial altar, spilling out all the rest of the blood at the altar’s base.

He shall remove all the fat, as he did with the fat of the peace offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar, as an appeasing fragrance to HaShem. The priest shall thus make atonement for the individual, and he will be forgiven.

Sheep as a Sin Offering

If he brings a sheep as a sin offering, it shall be an unblemished female. He shall press his hands on the head of the sin offering, and have it slaughtered in the same place that the burnt offering was slaughtered.

The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and place it on the protrusions of the sacrificial altar, spilling out all the rest of the blood at the altar’s base.

He shall remove all its choice parts, just as he removed all the choice parts of the sheep brought as a peace offering, and burn them on the altar along with the fire offerings dedicated to God. The priest will thus make atonement for the sin the person committed and he will be forgiven.

The Adjustable Guilt Offering

This is the law if a person sins in any of the following ways:

If he is bound by an oath to give evidence in court, where he was a witness who saw or knew something, and he does not testify, he must bear his guilt.

The same is true if a person touches anything ritually unclean, whether it is any dead non-kosher animal, wild or domestic, or any dead unclean creeping animal, and then commits a violation while forgetting that he was unclean.

Similarly, if he comes in contact with any ritual uncleanliness stemming from a human being, which renders him unclean, and then forgets about it, he may later discover that he has committed a violation.

This is also true if a person makes a verbal oath to do good or bad, no matter what is expressed in the oath, and then forgets about it.

In any of these cases, the person is considered guilty as soon as he realizes what he has done.

When he is guilty in any of these cases, he must confess the sin that he has committed. He must also bring his guilt offering to HaShem for the sin he has committed. It must be a female sheep or goat, brought as a sin offering. The priest will then make atonement for the person’s sin.

If he cannot afford a sheep, the guilt offering that he presents to HaShem for his sin shall be two turtle doves or two young common doves. One shall be a sin offering and the other shall be a burnt offering.

He shall bring them to the priest, who shall first sacrifice the one for the sin offering. He shall gouge through its neck from the back without separating the head from the body. He shall then drain some of the blood on the side of the altar, and the rest of the blood at the altar’s base. This one is the sin offering.

Then he shall sacrifice the second bird as the law requires. The priest shall thus make atonement for the sin that the person committed, and he will be forgiven.

The Meal Offering for Guilt

If he cannot afford the two turtle doves or two common doves, the sacrifice that he must bring for his sin shall consist of 1/10 ephah of wheat meal as a sin offering. Since it is a sin offering, he shall not place any oil nor any frankincense on it.

He shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall scoop up three fingers full as a memorial portion. He shall burn this portion as a sin offering on the altar along with HaShem’s other fire offerings.

The priest shall thus make atonement for the person’s sin with one of the above-mentioned offerings, and he will be forgiven. Just as in the case of the meal offering, the unburnt portions of these sacrifices shall belong to the priest.

The Misappropriation Sacrifice

HaShem spoke to Moses saying: If a person sins inadvertently by using for personal use something that is sacred to HaShem, he shall bring as his guilt offering to HaShem, an unblemished ram with a prescribed value of at least two shekels according to the sanctuary standard. It shall be prepared as a guilt offering.

For misappropriating something that was sacred, he must make full restitution, adding one-fifth to it, and give it to the priest. The priest shall then atone for him with the guilt offering ram, and he will be forgiven.

The Offering for Questionable Guilt

If a person sins by violating certain of HaShem’s prohibitory commandments, without knowing for sure he still bears responsibility. He must bring an unblemished ram, with the prescribed value, to the priest as a guilt offering. The priest shall then make atonement for the inadvertent sin that the person committed without definite knowledge, and he shall be forgiven.

It is a guilt offering that one must bring for his guilt toward HaShem.

Offerings for Dishonesty

HaShem spoke to Moses saying: This is the law, if a person sins and commits a misappropriation offense against HaShem by lying to his neighbor. It can involve an article left for safekeeping, a business deal, robbery, withholding funds or finding a lost object and denying it. If the person swears falsely in any of these cases involving human relations, he is considered to have sinned.

When he becomes guilty of such a sin, he must return the stolen article, the withheld funds, the article left for safekeeping, the found article, or anything else regarding which he swore falsely. He must make restitution of the principal, and then add one-fifth to it. On the day that he seeks atonement for his crime, he must give it to its rightful owner.

He must then bring to the priest his sin offering to HaShem. It shall be an unblemished ram, worth the prescribed amount, as a guilt offering. The priest shall make atonement for him before HaShem, and he will then be forgiven for any crime that he has committed.


Next Week’s Parsha : Tzav Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36
Next Week’s Haftara: Jeremiah 7.21-8.3, 9.22-23