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Torah Teaser Parshas Vayikra

Vayikra (Leviticus 1-5 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

12 challenging questions.

1. The first verse of the parsha states that Hashem called to Moshe before speaking to him. Where else in the Torah does Hashem call out to Moshe before speaking to him? (4 answers)

In parshas Shemos, Hashem calls out to Moshe at the Burning Bush, before speaking to him for the first time (Exodus 3:4). Hashem calls out to Moshe twice In parshas Yitro (Exodus 19:3, 20), and once In parshas Mishpatim with regards to the giving of the Torah (Exodus 24:16).

2. Aside from Moshe, who else in the Torah does Hashem call out to first with the word "Vayikra"?

In parshas Bereishis, Hashem calls out to Adam before reprimanding him for eating from the Tree of Knowledge (Genesis 3:9).

3. In this parsha, different offerings are discussed. Who is the first person mentioned in the Torah to bring an offering?

In parshas Beraishis, Kayin brings an offering from the fruit of the ground (Genesis 4:3).

4. Who is the first person in the Torah to build an altar and offer animals upon it?

In parshas Noach, after the flood, Noach builds an altar and offers animals and birds upon it (Genesis 8:20). (The Torah does not mention that Kayin or Hevel built an altar.)

5. Where is the first time in the Torah where the following are mentioned: a) sheep, b) cattle, c) fire, d) goats?

a) Parshas Beraishis states that Hevel is a "shepherd of sheep" (Genesis 4:2). b) In parshas Lech Lecha, Pharaoh gives cattle and other gifts to Avram after the incident with Sarai (Genesis 12:16). c) In parhsas Lech Lecha, at the "Covenant Between the Halves," a torch of fire passes through the cut pieces of animals (Genesis 15:17). d) In parshas Toldos, Rivka places the skins of "the goat-kids" on Yaakov’s arms to disguise him as Eisav (Genesis 27:16).

6. Where is honey mentioned in this parsha?

Honey cannot be offered on the altar (Leviticus 2:11).

7. Where is salt mentioned in this parsha? What two other places is salt mentioned in the book of Genesis?

a) This parsha teaches that every offering needs to brought with salt (Leviticus 2:13). In parshas Lech Lecha, during the war between the kings, the armies gathered by the Sea of Salt (Genesis 14:3). In parshas Vayera, Lot’s wife transformed into a "pillar of salt" when she looked back at the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19:26).

8. What bird appears in the parsha and elsewhere in the book of Genesis?

Young doves are valid for certain offerings (Leviticus 1:14, 5:7). After the Great Flood, a dove was sent by Noach to check if the land was dry (Genesis 8:8).

9. What does a flour offering (minchah) have in common with the Passover offering?

With regards to both sacrifices, the Torah forbids any leavened food to be brought with them (Exodus 2:11, 34:25).

10. What does the sin-offering of a prince (Nasi) have in common with the sale of Yosef?

The sin-offering of a prince consists of a goat (seir izim) (Leviticus 3:23). In parshas Vayeshev, Yosef's brothers slaughter a goat and then dip the Yosef's coat in its blood (Genesis 37:31).

11. In this parsha, what animal is spelled two different ways, using the same three letters?

A sheep is sometimes called a kesev (e.g. Leviticus 3:7), and sometimes called a keves (e.g. Leviticus 4:32).

12. Which part of an offering is the "heaviest?"

The heaviest part of an offering must be the liver (Leviticus 3:4), since the word for liver is kaved, which also means “heavy” in Hebrew.

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