top of page

Parshat Shemini - VaYikra (Leviticus) 9:1 - 11:47


On the Eighth Day

In this parsha we learn several valuable lessons concerning our relationship with HaShem and His with us.

One of the most apparent is that we each as a people and as individuals have necessary and pivotal parts in the development of this relationship (between each other and with HaShem). It isn’t all on HaShem — we too must be totally involved and committed to make it work and grow.

The kohanim, starting with the Kohen Gadol has their roles, the elders have theirs and we have ours.

According to the teachings of our Sages of Blessed Memory, when each is doing what HaShem has commanded of them then His glory (Shechinah) will be made manifest in their lives (in varying degrees and ways). Our prophets and sages testify that this concept is a fundamental foundation of our ongoing relationship with HaShem — HaShem commands and promises, we choose to commit and dedicate ourselves to obedience to His Torah and the benefits of those promises of HaShem become seen and experienced in our individual lives and our lives as a people; a nation.

— The Heavenly Formula —

[1] Hashem commands

[2] We obey in faith

[3] Miracles of the promise are manifest

— As An Example —

[1] HaShem commanded the people to cross over the sea

[2] The people obeyed and stepped into the waters in faith and trust

[3] HaShem parted the sea into twelve pathways and the people crossed over on dry land - each tribe to its own path.

The second main theme of this parsha is the laws concerning the separation of that which is to be considered holy (set apart for HaShem) and that which is profane and the mundane.

This is definitively outline and illustrated by the death of Aaron’s two sons, the kohanim Nadab and Abihu. While their intent may have been pure (we may never know for sure), their act was pure desecration of that which is holy — the old adage; “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is very appropriate in the case of these two men.

The other separation of holy from profane is outlined by HaShem in His laws of kashrut, that which is permissable for consumption and that which is to be avoided.

Until next time — Shalom.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Rav Gedalia Meyer of the Temple Institute addresses the fact that things happen and we react. Sometimes we act predictably. Sometimes less so. Sometimes our reactions are appropriate. Sometimes not. S

bottom of page