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Vayikra 5761
March 25-31, 2001 by Reb Yosef

Judaism Has Lessons For Life

This week, we begin Sefer Vayikra (the Book of Leviticus).  At the end of this Parashah, the Torah talks about transgressions against other people.  What is really interesting, however, is how it is all presented. 

This Week's P'sukim - Perek Hay (5)

20. Hashem spoke to Moses, saying:

21. If a person will sin and commit a treachery against Hashem by lying to his comrade regarding a pledge or a loan or a robbery; or by defrauding his comrade:

22. or he found a lost item and denied it -- and he swore falsely about any of all the things that a person can do and sin thereby:

23. so it shall be that when he will sin and become guilty, he shall return the robbed item that he robbed, or the proceeds of his fraud, or the pledge that was left with him, or the lost item that he found: 

24. or anything about which he had sworn falsely -- he shall repay its principal and add its fifth to it; he shall give it to its owner on the day he admits his guilt:

25. And he shall bring his guilt-offering to Hashem -- an unblemished ram from the flock, of the proper value, as a guilt-offering -- to the Kohen:

26. The Kohen shall provide him atonement before Hashem, and it shall be forgiven him for any of all the things he might do to incur guilt: 

Stone Edition Chumash by ArtScroll Publishing                 

Notice that what is discussed first is making things right again with the person who was wronged.  We are taught that before we can ever expect Hashem to forgive us, when we have hurt another person, that we must have the other person forgive us first. 

Notice that the atonement provided by God through the Kohen (priest) is not discussed until after the ways to make things right are presented. 

If we remember that, anytime we cause someone else hurt, we are going to have to ask their forgiveness before we can ask Hashem, we will probably be much more careful.  This is one of Judaism's Life Lessons. 

________

Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash and from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash

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