Vayikra - And he called
Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:1 - 5:26
Mark R. Ensign, Adot Adonai, Amarillo, Texas
Introductory questions -- Brief answers, not for extended discussion:
1. At what point in history does this parsha unfold?
2. Where does this parsha take place geographically? What are the setting and environment?
3. Who are the primary actors in the parsha and what role or roles does each play? What is the significance of each role? Who are the secondary actors and what roles do they play? What is the significance of their roles?
4. What is the overall theme of this parsha? What are the subdivisions, if any?
Parsha Specific Questions -- for extended discussion:
What two types of animals were acceptable for the olah (elevation or fire) offering? What two characteristics were essential for each animal offered to YHVH? Under what motivation was the olah offering brought to the Mishkan? What gesture did the one offering this animal make to identify himself with the animal being offered? Who slaughtered the animal? What was done with the blood and by whom? Who skinned the animal and cut it into pieces? What was done with those pieces and by whom? Who washed the remainder of the animal? What was done with this and by whom? How was this olah offering received by YHVH?
What other category of living thing could be offered as an olah offering? Who slaughtered this offering and what was done with its blood and carcass and by whom?
What were the two essential ingredients of the mincha offering? Under what motivation was the mincha offering brought to the Mishkan? In what forms could the mincha offering be brought and to whom was it given? How was it divided and to whom did the two portions go? How was the mincha offering received by YHVH? What prohibition was there regarding the mincha offering? What was prohibited from being offered as a fire offering to YHVH? What other essential ingredient was added to the mincha offering? From this verse, what covenant do the rabbis derive? What two properties do the rabbis say this ingredient has? What can this ingredient symbolize in relationship to the covenant of YHVH with his people?
What other offering of grain was described in this chapter? When was it offered? What other ingredients are added to it? How was it offered?
What three animals were acceptable as a shlamim (peace) offering unto YHVH? What characteristic was essential for each animal offered to YHVH? How did this differ from the olah offering? Under what motivation was the shlamim offering brought to the Mishkan? What gesture did the one offering this animal make to identify himself with the animal being offered? Who slaughtered the animal? What was done with the blood and by whom? What portion of the animal was offered as a fire offering to YHVH and by whom? How was this offering received by YHVH? What was done with the remainder of the animal? What were Bnei Yisrael prohibited from eating from the sacrificial animals?
Why was the one who voluntary brought the offerings to YHVH not able to complete the process of the offering by placing it upon the altar? What limitation did YHVH place upon those who could access the altar?
What was the motivation of the offerings described in this chapter? How were these offerings categorized in this portion? Within those categories, how were the offerings categorized? What was the essential characteristic of the sins for which such offerings provided atonement?
If the one who sinned unintentionally was a kohen (priest), what animal was he to bring and what characteristic must it have? How did he identify himself with the animal? Who slaughtered the animal? What was done with the blood and by whom and in what three places? What portion of the animal was separated for YHVH? What was done with that portion and by whom? What was done with the remainder of the animal, where, and by whom?
If the congregation of Yisrael sinned unintentionally and it became known to them, what animal was offered at the Mishkan? Who joined together to identify with the animal and how? What was done with the blood and by whom and in what three places? What part was separated for YHVH and what was done with it? What was done with the remainder of the animal? How was it received by YHVH?
If the one who sinned unintentionally was a leader, what animal was he to bring and offer at the Mishkan? How did he identify himself with the animal? Who slaughtered the animal? What was done with the blood and by whom and in what places? What portion was offered to YHVH? What was the result for the leader who brought this offering?
If the one who sinned unintentionally was an individual from Bnei Yisrael, what animal was offered by the individual at the Mishkan? How did he identify himself with the animal? Who slaughtered the animal? What was done with the blood and by whom and in what places? What portion was offered to YHVH? How was it received by him? What was the result for the individual who brought this offering? What other animal could this unintentional sinner bring? Was there any difference in the procedure or the result?
What specific transgressions were covered by the offerings of this chapter? Regarding the sins arising from contamination, what two elements were required before he became guilty? Upon recognizing that he had become guilty of one of the sins, what step must he next take? What animal was to be brought as an atonement for his sin?
If his means were insufficient to purchase such an animal, what other living things could he bring in its place? If his means were insufficient to purchase such, what could he bring in their place? What ingredients of the mincha offering were not to be used in this offering? What was the result for the one who recognized his guilt for unintentional sin and offered the appropriate sacrifice therefore?
What animal was required to be offered as an atonement in each of the three scenarios concluding the parsha? If one sinned unintentionally regarding the holy things of YHVH, what was he required to do in addition to bringing the offering in order to receive forgiveness of his sin? If one was not sure whether or not he had committed sin but had a guilty conscience, what was the result of his bringing this offering to YHVH?
(Chapter 6 in English Bible)
In the situations described and covered by this offering, what elements seem to be common to each? What was the sinner required to do and to what extent before he could bring his offering? What was the result of bringing this offering to YHVH?
For what type of sin was there no provision for in the sacrificial system? Did this mean that forgiveness was not available for that type of sin? What did YHVH require for the forgiveness of such sin? What characteristic of YHVH is demonstrated thereby? What was the final offering for intentional, willful sin?
List the five aspects of the death of Y'shua HaMashiach and relate them to the five offerings of this parsha. How did the offerings of this parsha enhance your understanding of Y'shua HaMashiach and what he did for you? As a result, what type of sacrifice does the writer of the Epistle to the Messianic Hebrews encourage us to offer to YHVH continually? Y'shua HaMashiach is described as what kind of offering in Yeshayahu 53? Why does the mention of this particular offering prevent this passage from referring to Bnei Yisrael as a whole? What two passages in the Brit Chadashah serve as witnesses to the understanding that Y'shua HaMashiach was the sufferings servant of Yeshayahu 53?
What portion of the sacrificial system found in Vayikra was abolished by the final sacrifice of Y'shua HaMashiach, the sufferings servant? What types of offerings brought to YHVH at the Mishkan and offered on the altar remained as eternal instructions? What actions found in the Brit Chadashah confirmed this? With the destruction of the Temple, what did the rabbinical sages substitute for these offerings?
Closing Questions: For Personal Introspection
Why do you believe our loving Father provided us with this particular portion of his words? What was his purpose and objective in preserving this portion of the Scriptures to this day? What benefit do they have for Torah observant believers today?
What other insights has the Ruach HaKodesh given you in your study of this portion that you would like to share with the group?
What questions from this portion have you had that have not been answered by the study?
What impact do you think the study of the words from your Father in this portion will have on your life? How do you plan to implement his instructions in this parsha in your life?
Silently pray for the Ruach HaKodesh to implant his words like seeds, to nurture their growth in your heart, and to enable you to respond fully as they do.