Vayikra. – The Perashot which we read over the last few weeks concentrated on the building of the Tabernacle and all of its utensils. As we begin the book of Vayikra this week we will begin reading about the Aboda – Service performed in the Tabernacle, and the different Offerings which were given in the form of a sacrifice. There are specific rules regarding the actual animal used in the sacrifice, whether it is a sheep, goat, or fowl. There were Meal Offerings which consisted of flour, and fine smelling fruits and honey. There were specifications about performing the sacrifice, and giving the remainder to the Kohanim. The Torah lists the different reasons for bringing a sacrifice. There is a Peace Offering, a Sin Offering, an Offering brought by a Kohen who transgresses and an Offering brought by a ruler that transgresses. The Torah describes different scenarios of transgressing. There is the transgression of Contamination, of the Spoken Oath, a Guilt Offering, and a Guilt Offering in the case of Doubt. Bringing all these Offerings is to remind the person of his or her shortcomings, to recognize them, to regret them and ultimately and to rectify them.
HaHodesh.– This is the last of the four Perashiot that we read before the Pesah Holiday. The Shabbat prior to Rosh Hodesh Nisan, or the Shabbat that Rosh Hodesh Nisan falls into, as in this year, we read Perashat HaHodesh. This chapter from Perashat Bo, called Perashat HaHodesh, describe the first commandment given to the Israelites to recognize and sanctify the new month. It was the first month of the Jewish Calendar , the month of Nisan. It was the month that marked the beginning of the redemption of the Israelites from Egypt. It gives the authority to the Supreme Jewish Court to decide when Rosh Hodesh – beginning of the month, is. By doing so, the Israelites were empowered with the ability to have control over their time. The chapter also describes the relevant laws of Korban Pesah – Pascual Offering and the laws of the Passover holiday itself.