Torah E-Thought: Sweet or Sour

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This Week at Chabad-Lubavitch of Leeds
Candle Lighting Times for
Leeds, England:
Friday, Mar 16
5:54 pm
Shabbat, Mar 17
7:07 pm
Torah Portion: Vayikra
Service Times
Friday night - 10 mins before Shabbat commences
Shabbat day - 10.00 am
Motzei Shabbat - 15 mins after Shabbat concludes
Weekday Shachris

Sunday - 8.30 am
Tuesday - 7.30 am
Friday - 7.30 am

Message from the Rabbi

Dear <>,

Pesach is getting closer and with it come for many the struggle that many face with Pesach costs. Here in Leeds we support many families and individuals. Please help us to help them in good time for Pesach. You can read more about our Maot Chitim - Pesach Fund here.

Bookings for our communal Seder are still open here and you can sell your chametz online here.

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

While some parshiot of the Torah are full of lessons to be learnt, others seem more difficult – at first glance at least – to find good material.

This week we begin the Book of Leviticus and as the name suggests, a good portion of the book talks about the work of the Kohanim and the Levites in the Holy Temple. The beauty of the Torah is that even those sections which talk about animal sacrifices are full of lessons in life. To illustrate the depth of meaning in even these ideas, I thought that instead of sharing one idea on the parshah as usual, I would point out a few of the lessons that we can take from such a foreign idea as animal sacrifices.

There were different rules about which animals and foods were allowed to be offered on the altar. ‘No leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of G-d.’ Flour, wine, water were all allowed, but not honey or leaven. The reason? G-d does not like extremism. ‘Walk the middle path’ we are instructed in Ethics of the Fathers and ultra-sweet honey and ultra-sour leaven, are opposite extremes.

Regarding animal sacrifices, different sacrifices and different animals would mean that different parts would be burnt on the altar, but all sacrifices required the burning of the blood and animal fats; ‘they shall throw the blood on the altar all around... and the fats.’ Why are the blood and fat of karbanot singled out to offered on the altar every time?

Blood symbolises excitement, speed and activity. Fat represents passiveness, slothness, and inaction. Both are important. One should be enthusiastic about doing a mitzvah or an act of kindness. On the other hand, one should be ‘lazy’ and desist from doing something improper.

One who commits a transgression has confused their priorities. In the case of the positive commandments which he neglected, he was lazy, and in the case of the negative which he violated, he acted with vigour. Placing the blood and fat on the altar acts as a reminder of the purpose of each trait and that each should be used as G-d intended.

A final interesting lesson is from the sacrifices of birds and animals. Depending on the sacrifice, on occasion an animal would be completely burnt on the altar. However a bird would not have its ‘crop’ burnt on the altar. The Midrash explains that birds fly about and hunt and eat indiscriminately; they eat food obtained by robbery and by violence. On the other hand, the domestic animal is reared on the farm and eats neither indiscriminately nor of that obtained by robbery or by violence; for this reason the whole of it is offered up. The lesson for our work ethics is clear.

The beauty of the Torah – meaning hora’ah or teaching – is that even from the seemingly bland laws of sacrifices we can find a depth of meaning.

The Parshah In A Nutshell

Parshat Vayikra

G‑d calls to Moses from the Tent of Meeting, and communicates to him the laws of the korbanot, the animal and meal offerings brought in the Sanctuary. These include:

• The “ascending offering” (olah) that is wholly raised to G‑d by the fire atop the altar;

• Five varieties of “meal offering” ( minchah) prepared with fine flour, olive oil and frankincense;

• The “peace offering”(shelamim), whose meat was eaten by the one bringing the offering, after parts are burned on the altar and parts are given to the kohanim (priests);

• The different types of “sin offering” (chatat) brought to atone for transgressions committed erroneously by the high priest, the entire community, the king or the ordinary Jew;

• The “guilt offering”(asham) brought by one who has misappropriated property of the Sanctuary, who is in doubt as to whether he transgressed a divine prohibition, or who has committed a “betrayal against G‑d” by swearing falsely to defraud a fellow man.

Featured Event
Celebrate the Pesach Seder with your family and friends at Chabad-Lubavitch of Leeds!
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Friday night Minyan
Mar. 16, 2018 - 10 mins before Shabbat commences
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Mar. 17, 2018 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Mar. 18, 2018 - 8:30 am - 9:30 am
The weekly Bagels, Lox & Tefillin minyan will commence at 8.30am on Sunday Dec 3rd followed by a bagel breakfast.
Tefillin will be provided for those who need and women are also welcome.
Where: Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Lunch and Learn in the City Centre
Mar. 19, 2018 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Bagels and brain storming on the weekly Parshah and contemporary events. Weekly excluding public Holidays at Ward Hadaway Solicitors, Wellington Street.
More Info »
Ladies Class
Mar. 19, 2018 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mrs Bell for details on 07963 316 279
Tuesday Morning Minyan
Mar. 20, 2018 - 7:30 am
Friday Morning Minyan
Mar. 23, 2018 - 7:30 am
Shabbat Morning Minyan
Mar. 24, 2018 - 10:00 am
Warm & Friendly Shabbat service followed by kiddush
Bagels, Lox & Tefillin
Mar. 25, 2018 - 8:30 am - 9:30 am
The weekly Bagels, Lox & Tefillin minyan will commence at 8.30am on Sunday Dec 3rd followed by a bagel breakfast.
Tefillin will be provided for those who need and women are also welcome.
Where: Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Torah Tots - Pre Pesach
Mar. 25, 2018 - 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
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