Drash Cards for VaYikra (5758)
by Marc Mangel
• There are two pieces to this book: the sacrifices (burnt, peace, sin, communal) and the holiness code. In ancient times, children began their study of the Torah with this book since its focus is purity.
• The whole theme is purification– the willingness to give up the material to transcend into a higher realm.
• The word for sacrifice is Kar-ban with the same root as Ka-rove — closeness.
• The prophets who object to a sacrificial cult include Samuel, Amos, Hosea, Micha, Jeremiah, and the Psalmist.
• Special to this week (in 1998) is what Heschel wrote “Emblazoned over the gates of the world is the escutcheon of the demons”
• This week, a Jonesboro teacher died (the ultimate sacrifice) shielding a student in a car accident. After that accident, one bystander pulled two people out of the burning car while others watched.
• The greatness of Judaism is our duality — that we exist between heaven and earth, from the base to the godlike.
• The system of sacrifices creates the values to help us move along the continuum from the base to the godlike. That’s how we should read VaYikra.