Weekly Reading Insights:


Overview of the Weekly Reading

Torah: Leviticus 6:1-8:36;
Haftorah: Malachi 3:4-24 (for Erev Pesach)



"This is the law of the ascent offering…burning on the altar." (6:2)
"This is the Torah" - referring to one who engages in Torah study; "who is elevated" - for Torah reaches to higher heavens than any sacrifice; "burning" - but this occurs only when he studies with a burning passion that comes from love of G-d and fear of Him.
(The Maggid of Mezhritch -translated from Sichat HaShavuah 327)

"This is the Torah (law) of the burnt offering ("ola," lit. "which ascends"), which shall be burning upon the altar." (6:2)
The great Chasidic masters explained: What kind of Torah learning truly ascends on high? That which "burns upon the altar" - Torah that is studied with a burning and fiery enthusiasm. Nonetheless, the mem of the word "mokda" (altar) is smaller than the other letters, to teach us that our ardor must be inwardly contained and not demonstrated outwardly beyond a tiny light.
(Otzar Chaim)

"This is the law (teaching) of the burnt offering; it is the burnt offering...and the fire of the altar shall be burning on it." (6:2)
The person who brings the burnt offering should have in mind that he himself should have been the offering. Yet G-d, in His infinite mercy, is willing to accept a sacrifice in his stead.
(Peninei Torah)

"He shall take the ashes to a ritually clean place outside the camp" (6:4)
Even the seemingly least worthwhile of Israel - "the ashes" among them; those that are outside the camp - they also can be corrected and returned to their source. It says about every Jew "he will not be rejected." That is why one is not allowed to give up hope for anyone. Instead one has to always try to return him to a "clean place".
(from Beit Ya'akov -translated from Sichat HaShavuah #221)

"The fire upon the altar be kept burning thereby; it shall not go out; and the priest shall kindle wood on it every morning; and he shall lay the burnt-offering in order upon it, and shall make the peace offerings smoke thereon. Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out." (6:5-6)
In every Jew there flickers a spark of Divine fire that will never go out. But the leader, priest, prophet or scholar must feed that little spark with fiery oratory, and stir it up anew each morning, with regard to the duties of man toward his Maker - as symbolized by the olah - the ascent offering which is burned up entirely and rises directly to heaven; and the duties of man to his fellow-men - as symbolized by the shelomim, the peace-offering. If the priests do this and kindle the sparks of the Divine in the hearts of the Jews they may be sure that the fire of G-d will burn continually upon the altar of Judaism and never go out.
(Rabbi Moshe Alsheich of Tsfat)

"An eternal light shall be kept burning on the altar that is not to be extinguished" (Lev. 6:6)
We see, that as long as a small spark of fire remains, it is easy to fan it till it becomes a big flame; but when not even a small spark is left, there is no choice but to kindle a new flame. It is the same in the service of G-d: if a Jew holds on during the day to a small spark of connection to G-d, it is within his power to easily awaken a great fiery love of G-d when he prays and when he learns Torah; but if he allows this spark to dim, he will have to start "a new fire" when he returns to prayer and study.
(from Keter Shem Tov -translated from Sichat HaShavuah #17)

"An eternal light shall be kept burning on the altar that is not to be extinguished" (Lev. 6:6)
There were two kinds of fire in the Temporary Sanctuary and the Holy Temple: the fire on the altar in the outer courtyard and the menorah in the inner chamber. However, the Kohain who lit the menorah did so with fire carried over from the altar. The menorah symbolizes the light of Torah; the altar location represents the work of outreach. The greatest success in Torah study can come only when there is also involvement with Jews on the outside.
(Likutei Sichot -translated from Sichat HaShavuah 482)

"Fire shall be kept burning continuously upon the altar; it shall not go out." (6:6)
Within every Jew there is a sanctuary dedicated to G-d - the eternal Jewish soul which can never be destroyed. And within that "sanctuary" stands an altar upon which a continual fire must burn. Chasidic philosophy explains that the continual fire is the warmth, enthusiasm and vitality with which a person infuses his Jewish observance. If this fieriness is missing, even though the person might perform many mitzvot and study much Torah, his G-dly service is lacking an essential ingredient. A glowing passion toward Judaism must encompass every aspect of our lives as Jews, thus transforming everyday acts into holy deeds. And, of course, "spiritual deeds" too - Torah, prayer and deeds of kindness (gemilut chasadim) - must also be suffused with a burning enthusiasm.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe - from L'Chaim #863)

"Every meal offering which is mixed with oil, or dry...to one as much as the other." (7:10)
The meal offering mixed with oil was voluntary, but the dry one was brought by a person who had committed a transgression. The Torah says, "to one as much as the other." One must treat both individuals with the same respect, love and spirit of brotherhood, regardless of the reason why the offering was brought.
(Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorka)

"The flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving-peace-offering shall be eaten the same day that it is offered." (7:15)
Why is eating this type of sacrifice limited to only one day? Because it is brought to thank
G-d for a miracle He has wrought on our behalf, and indeed, G-d performs new miracles every day...
(Rabbi Avraham Mordechai of Gur- from L'Chaim #1013)

"...on the day that He commanded the Children of Israel to offer their sacrifices." (7:37-8)
Thus, the proper time for bringing sacrifices is during the day and not at night. Nonetheless, it is permissible to burn any portions of the animal that were not consumed during the daytime throughout the night.
Similarly, the Jew's mission in life is to "sacrifice" his animal soul his lust and desire for physical pleasures and transform it into holiness. Optimally, this type of service is to be done "in the daytime" when the Jew's connection to G-d is fully revealed, illuminating and sustaining him body and soul. Nonetheless, if our sins have caused us to enter a state of spiritual "night," our service of G-d must continue, for this in itself will dispel the darkness and transform it into light.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

"This is the law (Torah) of the burnt [offering], of the meal [offering], and of the sin [offering], and of the trespass [offering]." (7:37)
The Torah is an elixir of life for those who believe in it, but an elixir of death for those who pervert it. It can serve as a burnt offering or meal offering, or lead to sin and trespass.
(Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin)

"This is the law...and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings." (7:37)
The Rabbi of Lublin used to say: "It is far better to have an imperfect peace than a perfect controversy." It is preferable to live in peace with one's neighbor, even if that peace is only superficial and not with a full heart, than to engage in controversy, however well intended. Why is the chapter "Azehu mekoman" - Where were the places of sacrifice in the Holy Temple" included in our daily liturgy? One of the most important things we pray for is peace, and this chapter is the only one in the Mishna in which there is no controversy between the Sages.
(Bet Yosef)




"...all night until morning.." (Lev. 6:2)
The Or HaChaim explains the verse in the opening passage of the portion, "the entire night until the morning" as follows:
Until when will Israel be in [exile]?... "The entire night" is a reference to the time of exile.... "Until morning" refers to the time when He will reveal His glory to us and then dawn will come.... This will be after 500 years of the sixth millennium have passed, the shining of the light of the sixth day, Mashiach will come. G-d's day is 1000 years long. The first five hundred years represent the night and the next five hundred years, the day.
(Sichos in English 5750)

"…Burning upon the altar...all night until morning." (Lev. 6:2)
The words "until the morning" seem superfluous, since the verse already states "all night." The Kli Yakar expounds the verse as a question and answer: How long will the situation of "all night"--the darkness, confusion and suffering throughout the world--last? Only "until the morning." Because the only real answer to the problems we face, both personally and collectively, is the wisdom and compassion of Mashiach, and the unity, peace and prosperity of the Messianic era.
(From MWire on //Shluchim.org)


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