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Divrei Torah 
Navigating the Bible
Leviticus VaYikra
Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
  VaYikra
  Tsav
  Shemini
  Tazria
  Metsora
  Acharey Mot
  Kedoshim
  Emor
  BeHar
  BeChukotay
Numbers
Deuteronomy
The Book of VaYikra (Leviticus) which we start reading this week, is also known as Torat Kohanim -- the Laws of the Priests. It deals largely with the korbanot (offerings) that are brought in the Mishkan (Tent of Meeting).

The first group of offerings are called 'Olot', burnt offerings. The animal is brought to the entrance of the Mishkan. Regarding cattle, the one who brought the offering sets his hands on the animal. Afterwards it is slaughtered and the Kohen sprinkles its blood on the Altar. The animal is skinned and cut into pieces. The pieces are arranged, washed and burned on the Altar. A similar process is described involving burnt offerings of other animals and birds. The various meal offerings are described. Part of these is burned on the altar and the remainder is eaten by the Kohanim. Mixing leaven or honey into the offerings is prohibited. The peace offering, part of which is burnt on the Altar and part eaten, can be either from cattle, sheep or goats. The Torah prohibits eating blood or 'Chelev' (certain fats in animals). The offerings that atone for inadvertent sins -- committed by the Kohen Gadol, by the entire community, by the prince and by the average citizen -- are detailed. Laws of the guilt-offering, which atones for certain verbal transgressions and for transgressing laws of ritual purity, are listed. The meal offering for those who cannot afford the normal guilt offering, the offering to atone for misusing sanctified property, laws of the 'questionable guilt' offering and offerings for dishonesty are detailed.




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