Parashat Vayikra / פרשת ויקרא
Parashat Vayikra is the 24th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the 1st reading of Vayikra (“Leviticus”). Vayikra (וַיִּקְרָא) means And He Called and is the first word of the parashah, which begins with HaShem calling to Moshe (Moses) from Ohel Moed (the Tent of Meeting), and in which HaShem provides Moshe instructions pertaining to korbanot (offerings), as follows.
HaShem prescribes certain land animals that may be given as korbanot for an olah (elevation), the related requirements for the animals, and the procedure for the korban. His instructions continue with certain birds that may alternatively be given as olot (pl. of olah), together with the related instructions.
HaShem then provides instructions pertaining to the giving of a korban minchah (grain offering), including the differences in how it should be handled if it is given simply as grain, baked in an oven, or cooked in a pan, and what is to become of it. HaShem prohibits the burning of two things on His altar with a korban minchah, but permits these to be offered as a korban reshit (firstfruits offering). On the other hand, every korban minchah must be seasoned with one thing in particular, and a korban reshit must be given according to HaShem’s instructions.
As with olot, HaShem defines certain land animals which may be given as a zevakh shelamim (sacrifice of peace), the related requirements for the animals, and the procedure for the korban, including a number of differences as compared with the olot. Specific instructions are also provided if the zevakh shelamim is an ez (a female goat), followed immediately by a temporal decree regarding the khelev (fat) and dam (blood) of the korbanot.
Parashat Vayikra continues with HaShem’s instructions regarding the khatat (sin offering), with specific provisions for whether this korban be for HaKohen HaMashiakh (the Anointed Priest), Kol Adat Yisrael (the whole congregation of Israel), a nasi (prince), or am ha’aretz (the people of the land, i.e. in general). These instructions include the purpose for the khatat, its requirements, procedure, and result. While larger land animals are primarily prescribed, HaShem’s instructions permit the offering of certain birds when a person cannot afford the larger animal, or grain if the person cannot afford a bird.
The parashah concludes with HaShem’s instructions pertaining to the asham (guilt offering); its purpose, requirements, procedure, and result.
Torah Portion: Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26 (Hb.)
1st Aliyah: Leviticus 1:1-13 (13 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Leviticus 1:14-2:6 (10 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Leviticus 2:7-16 (10 verses)
4th Aliyah: Leviticus 3:1-17 (17 verses)
5th Aliyah: Leviticus 4:1-26 (26 verses)
6th Aliyah: Leviticus 4:27-5:10 (19 verses)
7th Aliyah: Leviticus 5:11-26 (16 verses)
Maftir: Leviticus 5:24-26 (3 verses)
Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Isaiah 43:21 – 44:23
When Parashat Vayikra coincides with a special Shabbat, a different Haftarah is traditionally read:
Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:1-13
1 And He called to Moshe; and HaShem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying,
א וַיִּקְרָ֖א אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֵלָ֔יו מֵאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵ֖ד לֵאמֹֽר׃
Messiah in the Parashah
The Memra (Word) of HaShem called to Moshe and spoke to him at the entrance to Ohel Moed.
Our Olah (Elevation) Offering
Our Minkhah (Grain) Offering
Our Shelamim (Peace) Offering
Our Khatat (Sin) Offering
Our Asham (Guilt) Offering
A man sins and falsifies with falsehoods to the Name of the Memra of HaShem.
Good Deeds in the Parashah