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Dvar for Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26)

Sefer Vayikra opens with G-d’s addressing Moshe from the newly constructed Mishkan (Tabernacle). The Parsha begins with “when a person from [among] you brings a sacrifice to G-d…” (1:2) and goes on to discuss the laws of cattle, sheep, and goat offerings. Since the Torah does not waste words and the directive could have easily done without the words “from among you,” it begs the question: What is the purpose of adding those words?

Rabbi Shimon Schwab suggests that the word מִכֶּ֛ם means “from among you,” but can also mean “from within you.” Sharing or donating something that you have earned can sometimes feel like you are giving away a piece of yourself. G-d recognizes our sacrifices, especially when they are not mandatory. When we give of our time, money, and effort, it is not only comforting but also vital that we know it is acknowledged and appreciated, and the beginning of Vayikra looks to model that behavior for us.