Vayikra 2006

This weeks Parsha, Parshas Vayikra, deals with laws of the various sacrifices that were brought in the Temple. The Torah tells us, Adam ki Yakriv – When a person will bring a sacrifice, from cattle,… takrivu es korbanchem – you (in plural) should bring your sacrifice (Leviticus 1:2). The obvious question is, why is there a change in the form of language used? Why does it change from a singular (Yakriv ) to a plural (takrivu)?

Rav Moshe Sternbuch explains that the Torah is teaching us a tremendous lesson in our responsibility to each other. When a person sins, they are not just hurting themselves; there are effects to every single other Jew. The Medrash compares this to someone who is traveling on a boat. Suddenly, he notices one of the other passengers holding a drill, ready to begin drilling a hole under his seat. He asks him, “what are you doing?” The man responds, “why do you care? I will only drill under my seat, not under yours!” Obviously, this foolish response does not address the issue. Every person on the boat is dependent on each other for survival. So too, when a Jew sins, this sin has ramifications for all Jews. The only way to fix this for everyone, is for the sinner to correct his mistake. When that happens, everyone is now able to be the great person that they have the potential to be.

This is the beautiful message that the Torah conveys; Adam ki Yakriv – When a person will bring a sacrifice – when a person will atone for the bad that they have done on an individual level, takrivu es korbanchem – you (in plural) will now have an atonement that will rectify the blemish that is in all of you.