Vayikra וַיִּקְרָא, ( translated from Hebrew as “He called”) is this week’s parsha. Vayikra opens Leviticus, covering 1:1-5:26, and details the rules of sacrifices (קָרְבֳּנוֹת -karbanot).
Oy, the rules of sacrifice….
For a vegetarian most of these rules are pretty stomach churning. They include details as to where and when to smear blood on the sides of the altar. when fats from the entrails must be burned, that sort of stuff.
Vayikra contains 16 commandments (11 positive and 5 negative), that all have to do with sacrifice, testimony, and court proceedings. In the ‘thou shall’ column, you have commandments that include: to return robbed objects, to testify in court if you have valuable information, to salt all sacrifices, and to carry out the burnt offering procedure detailed in the Torah. On the other side, in the ‘thou shall not’ column, we are warned not to burn yeast or honey on the altar, not to decapitate any bird brought as a sin offering, and not to put oil in the meals that are served to wrongdoers.
Translation via JTS:http://www.jtsa.edu/PreBuilt/ParashahArchives/jpstext/vayikra.shtml
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