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Dvar Vayikra

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. This week's Dvar was very timely for me personally, and I hope you find it as timely for yourself. Either way, enjoy...

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Parshat Vayikra covers many of the offerings that were brought before G-d, each of them brought as a consequence of an action or sin being committed. Among the listings of possible sacrifices, one description of a sacrifice stands out: The Torah says, "When a leader sins, and does something he/she shouldn't do, and becomes guilty..." (4:22). All other descriptions begin with "And IF a person." Why is the Torah assuming a leader WILL sin? And if a person sins, aren't they automatically guilty? Why the redundant terminology?

The Sforno offers an insight that helps explain this Passuk (verse). He explains that powerful and important people are more likely to be observed sinning and thus must be more careful. But the Passuk goes on to tell us that sinning isn't bad until the person becomes "guilty", by not doing anything about what they have done. The Sifra adds a beautiful exclamation point to this lesson. The word meaning "will (sin)" is "asher", which is similar to the word "ashrei", which means "praised". Why would a sinner ever be praised? When a person admits that they are wrong, their sins turn into praises, revealing their true character! In our lives, we struggle to admit even to ourselves when we're wrong, and it's even harder when others observe us. To be a true leader is to admit when we're wrong, both to ourselves and to others!

 
Quotation of the Week (thanks to Abby):
"The road to success is always under construction"

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Last Updated: Thursday, March 17, 2005