Parshas ויקרא is referred to as תורת כהנים, the most difficult of the five חומשים. The months of Elul and Adar are sister months, both the last months of the year- אלול is ר”ת איש לרעהו ומתנות לאביונים, where in Adar, we’re involved with performing this mitzvah. In Elul we read of מחיית עמלק in כי תצא, and in Adar in פרשת זכור. At the end of Elul is the ימי הסליחות, and at the end of Adar ימי המילואים for the purpose of bringing a סליחה and כפרה to the yidden- חודש אדר=523=כפרה וסליחה ומחילה.
Rashi says that before Hashem spoke to Moshe, there was always a קריאה. Rashi says that the לאמר is for Moshe to tell כלל ישראל, that the only reason Hashem is speaking to him, is because of the yidden. There are many opinions of why there is a small א in ויקרא. The חידא says that this was due to Moshe’s humility, that he was embarrassed that Hashem called to him. Because of this humility, Moshe was זוכה to have the קרן ההוד on his face.
Avraham Avinu taught the world that the sun was only a servant of Hashem, and not a deity on its own, conveying to all the concept of monotheism. In the future, the sun will be taken out of its נרתיק, its protective layer, and the צדיקים will be healed and the רשעים punished. There will be no gehenom, just the שמש. It says in a pasuk שמש ומגן הויה אלה-ים, where the בעל תניא speaks of the protective layer, maybe the ozone that surrounds the sun, hinting to the שם אלה-ים protecting the שם הויה. The טבע conceals the שם הויה, where in גלות people could mistakenly think that the world runs on its own, or that the sun was always there. In the future the sun will be revealed w/o its נרתיק, and the שם הויה will be known to all. Before the חטא עץ הדעת, the sun had no נרתיק, no concealment.
In Parshas וירא, Avraham was ישב פתח האהל and the אזנים לתורה says that this took place ערב פסח. Avraham being the epitome of the מכניס אורחים, and didn’t serve any wine, since it was ערב פסח . What he did serve to the “guests” was עוגת מצה, which was מצה עשירה, neither חמץ nor מצה, however by Lot מצה was served, since it was טז ניסן, already Pesach. On this ערב פסח, Rashi says that Hashem took the sun out of its נרתיק, as this was a revelation of לעתיד לבא. The חתם סופר says that on ערב פסח, Hashem will get rid of His חמץ in the world, which is Amelek, and then the כסאו ושמו will be complete, and the evil in the world eradicated – שרפת חמץ=1118=תשביתו . Avraham was the first to burn chometz, by doing away with ע”ז, and teaching the masses that the sun is not an idol, but merely a servant of Hashem, like the moon is a reflection of the sun. The Zohar and the Tur both say that פסח is the י”ט of אברהם אבינו, as most events in his life took place then – ויקרא=317=אברהם אבינו
The main gist of ברכת החמה is clarifying that the sun is a שמש, a servant of the Almighty, and not an idol. This is why this Bracha is said in Nisan, the month when we are no longer in the restraints of טבע or concealment, but in the world of שם הויה, when there is no נרתיק surrounding the sun. The קרבן תמיד של שחר is sacrificed in the west, since the sun rises in the east, and our backs are to the sun, displaying the reality that we are not sacrificing to the sun. The קרבן תמיד בין הערבים is sacrificed in the east, also opposite the sun. The very first קרבן that was sacrificed in the new Mishkan, on ר”ח ניסן was the קרבן תמיד.
In שה”ש א:ד, which we read on שבת חול המועד פסח, it says משכני אחריך ונרוצה that is pull me (out of the dirt), and then we’ll follow. A קנין משיכה on an animal is done in one of two ways, or by calling the animal, or by hitting it with a stick. The תפארת שלמה, the Redumsker says that either Hashem calls us with a gentle voice-ויקרא , or sometimes hits us with a stick. This calling especially happens from ר”ח ניסן, and the ויקרא in our Parsha took place on this date, the first words said by Hashem in the Mishkan. On Pesach, the Almighty is making a קנין, that is קדושין with כלל ישראל. In Nisan there is an awakening from above, when the ודודי לי precedes the אני לדודי, opposite to what happens in Elul. The humility of the yidden, is what stirs this awakening. אדם כי יקריב מכם means that we have to sacrifice from ourselves- a yid has to humble the בהמיות in himself, and then he can come close-קירוב . The ימי הספירה is the אחריך נרוצה. The ברכת החמה should really take place in Tishrei, when we count the years, as opposed to the months. Its written אין כל חדש תחת השמש where חז”ל say that under the sun there is nothing new- טבע, but above the sun- למעלה מן הטבע, there is חידוש. Goyim follow the sun, the טבע, and many worship the sun, but we yidden understand clearly that all the light, heat and vitamins are all the חסד of the Almighty.
The first word that we read on the first day of Pesach is also ויקרא- ויקרא משה וכל זקני ישראל משכו …, referring to the קרבן פסח, that is first משיכה then ונרוצה. We must rid ourselves, and pull ourselves away from ע”ז, which includes serving ourselves, our ego. The first time that the sun was commanded to stop revolving, was by משה in the war against Amelek, as it says ויהי ידיו אמונה עד באו השמש Rashi says there, that Amelek were astrologers, and followed the sun the -מזלthat is, תחת השמש where there is a נרתיק. Even though the sun represents the lack of חידוש, since it is the same size every day, the Bracha on the sun is a metaphor for the way the world is when the sun has no נרתיק, no concealment, and when שם אלה-ים is not concealing שם הויה. Nisan is the month of למעלה מן הטבע.
In a leap year, Parshas VaYikra falls out just before Purim. In the Megilla is mentioned the names of the top officials of אחשורוש. Rav Levi in the Gemorra, says that the pasuk is talking of the קרבנות, where each name of these officials, refers to different קרבנות that the yidden were מקריב when there was a בהמ”ק seventy years earlier. For כלל ישראל, this was a זכות נצחי. The מלאכים in heaven, especially מיכאל, were מלמד זכות on all the yidden, even though at the exact same time maybe 18,000 yidden were involved in a big חילול ה”, by participating in the party of אחשורוש. The angels were claiming that none of these goyim in Persia, ever sacrificed any קרבן to the Almighty. From this לימוד זכות, Vashti was removed and Esther became queen, which set the stage for the big ישועה of Purim.
Mordechai was learning of the מנחת העמר, which was brought on טז ניסן, and which permitted the חדש, the new grain to be eaten. Haman overheard them learning, and he snickered and said that a mere scoop of flour is not going to override his 10,000 kikar, that he was “donating” for the destruction of the yidden. Of all the קרבנות that the yidden brought it only says נפש by the flour offering. Rashi says that a poor person brings a קרבן מנחה, and Hashem considers it כאילו הקריב נפשו. When we learn the different קרבנות, it’s as if we brought them, and even greater than the actual קרבן, since we study them with the אמונה that one day soon we will bring them in בית השלישי. A mere scoop of flour has the power to bring down the רשעים – המן בו המדתא האגגי=619=ממ נון חית הי. A מנחה is brought with מסירת נפש, and in the time of Purim, the yidden had tremendous מסירת נפש. The small א, represents the הסתר פנים of Hashem, אנכי הסתר אסתיר, when we had no בהמ”ק, no קרבנות. However even in this time, the love Hashem has for us is strong, and we could merit bringing all the קרבנות by reading and learning of them. Esther said Tehillim כב, while in the palace of אחשורוש- א-לי א-לי למה עזבתני, showing that a yid could call out to Hashem any time, even in עילם המדינה, and be answered.
We spoke before of the last words of Yaacov Avinu being ולערב יחלק שלל, which Rashi says refers to Purim. Another peshat of Unkeles is that it’s dealing with קרבנות -that בבוקר יאכל עד, and was divided in the evening- מכם קרבן ליה-וה=508=יחלק שלל. The real sacrifice of a yid is when he gives his desires, his נפש over to Hashem -מכם. The real meaning of קרבן is not sacrifice, but to come close. The way to come close to the Almighty is by making one’s will His will. The Megilla is also a calling from Hashem – מגילה נקראת=839=וו יוד קוף ריש אלף . In the ערב- the concealment, a yid could come close, and there are קרבנות to Hashem, even when there is no בהמ”ק – והקריב אליו=360=שלל.
In the time of Purim the yidden were completely forgiven- אנכי אנכי הוא מוכה פשעך למעני=913=ויהי בימי אחשורוש and סלחתי=508=יחלק שלל .
Parshas פקודי ends with the completion of the Mishkan, and the inauguration was on ר”ח ניסן. On this same date was the first words spoken to Moshe- ויקרא. It says in Pekudi that Moshe was not able to enter the Mishkan, as he was blocked by the clouds. In BeMidbar it says that on ר”ח ניסן, he did enter ובאו משה אל אהל מועד There is a third pasuk that reconciles the two, and says that when the clouds were on the Mishkan, Moshe couldn’t enter, but when they weren’t there, Moshe could enter. At beginning of ויקרא, the תורת כהנים speaks of the שלש עשרה מדות התורה נדרשת בהן, the last one being שני כתובים המכחישים זה את זה, when two pesukim are contradictory, there’s a third which solves the contradiction. This here was an example of this principle. The Magid of Mezerich says that these thirteen midos that decodes the תורה שבעל פה, is parallel to the thirteen Midos of Rachamim, the last one being ונקה לא ינקה, which is also contradictory. Both are comparable and both are tikunim for the grave sin of the חטא העגל.
The מגלה עמוקות gives many reasons for the small א in ויקרא. Moshe forgot what he did with the 1,775 pieces of silver donated for the building of the Mishkan, until the soul of Rebbi Akiva came to him and told him, that he used the silver for the ווים or the hooks. Rebbi Akiva was the נשיא of תורה שבעל פה, and he expounded on all the Vavim in the Torah. Rebbi Akiva, who died uttering the א of אחד in the שמע, found the א of the אלף 775 pieces of silver. Another small א refers to the גלות. When we’re in Galus the souls of the two משיחים are concealed, and they will suffer the חטאים of the yidden משיח בן יוסף משיח בן דויד=1000=אלף . The ברית אברהם says from the מקובלים that there were 1000- אלף lights that were distinguished after the חטא העגל, and he quotes a Gemorra in Nedarim that says that Moshe reached fourty nine out of the fifty levels of Bina, as it says in Tehillim ח – ותחסרהו מעט מאלה-ים, where the מעט, the smallest of אלה-ים is the א, as if the Parsha begins ויקר and not ויקרא. Any small letter denotes חטא. Hashem calls out to the yidden, despite the concealment.
Rav Tzadok says that if not for the חטא העגל, we would have only needed the עשרת הדברות, as all the Torah is included in the ten commandments. In Gemorra Nedarim it says that all we would need is the חומש and Sefer Yehoshua if not for חטא העגל. We need more and more Torah to compensate the great concealment that we are in, as it says in Mishle – ברוב כעס רוב חכמה. The more we sin, the more כעס there is in heaven, and the more Torah is needed to purify us. After every Galus, the lower we fall the more Torah is revealed in order to endure the Galus. The תורה שבעל פה (TBP) and also the Mishkan are both tikunim for the חטא העגל. The TBC was revealed by Moshe on Har Sinai, and the TBP was revealed on ר”ח ניסן with the הקמת המשכן. Nisan corresponds to יהודה, according to the ארי הקדוש. Yehuda is מלכות. The king gives orders with his mouth אשר דבר מלך. The פתח אליהו calls the Malchus מלכות פה, and so the month of Nisan is the month of תורה שבעל פה. Yaacov sent Yehuda to Egypt first to start up a Yeshiva of TBP.
Hashem first spoke to משה about קרבנות -אדם כי יקריב מכם קרבן לה” because of חטא. The beginning of Parshas ויקרא speaks of the קרבן עולה which is מכפר for the sin of thought -ע”ז where the main sin is done through thought. החודש הזה לכם is speaking of renewal, learnt from ר”ח ניסן which is the concept of התחדשות coming after a ירידה. If a yid didn’t have any downfall, there’s no need for renewal. The sun doesn’t need renewal, but the moon, which is totally concealed, and then becomes renewed, certainly does. The בני יששכר says that the total month of Nisan is renewal, which is the beginning only for כלל ישראל, as it says לכם. The month of תשרי is also for the goyim. It’s written in the ten commandments- אני ה” אלה-יך אשר הוצאתי אתכם מארץ מצרים. The real beginning is in Nisan, where we have a new beginning every day. Each and every day is considered a ראש חודש in Nisan, especially the first twelve days, when we read the קרבנות brought by each of the twelve tribes. There is a story of the חוזה מלובלין, who would predict events of that year, in the first twelve days of Nisan. One year he wrote something in the first four days, but left the the fifth blank. That year he passed away on ט באב, the fifth month. It’s written that he said that on that year the מתנגדים wouldn’t be able to dance on hearing of his passing- ( ט באב ).
Before every command, Hashem preceded with a קריאה. By the burning bush it says ויקרא אליו אלה-ים מתוך הסנה, and by Har Sinai ויקרא ה” אל משה ביום השביעי. Here in our Parsha there is also a קריאה, however this קריאה has a small א, since this calling is after the ירידה of theחטא העגל . Rashi chooses to mention that ויקרא is a לשון חיבה, davka here, since this is after the grave sin of the עגל, which results in Galus and חורבן, and nevertheless Hashem is calling us with his warm love to every yid. Hashem tells Moshe to inform every yid that they’re compared to the moon, where there is constant renewal. TBP is compared to the moon, or יהושע, which receives light from the sun, the TBC, or Moshe. In Nisan we were redeemed and in Nisan we will be redeemed. גאולה comes after a downfall, where someone that was in jail, has a great joy when being released, but it means that he was in jail and experienced a burnout. If there is no burnout, there is no התחדשות. The custom was to learn ספר ויקרא with תינוקות בית רבן, where the purpose of the קרבנות was to purify the yidden, representing the children under the age of thirteen, who are pure. When Nisan comes, we are all like children. The מזל of Nisan is the טלה, the young sheep, representing the birth of כלל ישראל.
The first time משיח is mentioned in all Chumash, is here in Parshas ויקרא, where it talks of the כהן המשיח. As we prepare ourselves for the גאולה, we must pull ourselves away- משכו, from ע”ז. Normally when some item or animal was used forע”ז , we are not permitted to use it. Here was an exception, in that the ע”ז of Egypt was the sheep, and we were commanded to drag the sheep through the streets, tie them up to our beds, and use these sheep as the קרבן פסח. Because of the חטא העגל, Aharon was excluded and not privileged to have a direct דיבור from Hashem, like Moshe did. In the future, every yid is promised that Hashem will appear to him and explain the secrets of Torah ישקני מנשיקות פיהו, and bring him to הביאני אל בית היין=596=ירושלים.
The Midrash on פרשת החודש quotes the pasuk תורה מאיתי תצאי, which is a renewal of Torah, a new revelation of that which was hidden. This renewal of Torah will take place in י”ם, as it says כי מציון תצא תורה ודבר ה” בירושלים. The בנין בהמ”ק will take place in Nisan, and as we said that on ערב פסח, Hashem will get rid of His חמץ, which is Amelek. The appointment of מלך המשיח will be in Nisan משיח בן דוד=424=החדש הזה לכם , and the בית השלישי will be built on טז ניסן. The three days that Queen Esther designated for the yidden to fast were יד טו טז ניסן, which will be in the future the same dates as the eradication of Amalek, the appointment of the ‘King’, and the building of the בית השלישי.
The Parsha speaks of all the different קרבנות- the עולה, the שלמים, the חטאת and also the animal, bird and also the flour offerings. The flour offerings were the cheapest, brought by the poor and called מנחה, meaning gift (as it says of the offering that Hevel and Kain brought), the simplest being the מנחת סולת. There was a Mincha that was an obligation, called the מנחת בכורים that was brought once a year on the sixteenth of Nisan, also known as theמנחת העמר The barley stalks were taken when they were still soft, frying them so they become hard, and then grinded down- גרש. This קרבן permitted the new grain-חדש , to be eaten. The pasuk starts off with the word ואם, which means if. Rashi asks if this מנחה is a חיוב, then why start off with the word if. Rashi says that there are certain times that אם means when, like over here. Another example is אם כסף תלוה את עמי.
The Safra says the Parsha was said right after the Mishkan was put up on ר”ח ניסן. After the חטא העגל the stature of the yidden were diminished, and therefore the small א in ויקרא. Before this sin, there was no need for sin offerings, since the sacrifices are to bring forgiveness from Hashem, and to come close קרב. Also there would have been no need for the Mishkan, as every yid was a משכן, and the שכינה would dwell in each yid. In a leap year, we’re given more time, another month for the lower Jews- small א, to have a tikun. Hashem calls us- ויקרא, with love, even after we commit sins. Because we might think that Hashem’s love for the yidden diminished due to their sinning, it’s here that Rashi says that לאמר, Hashem is talking to Moshe, only because of his love for the yidden. The small א is in ויקרא and is not written small in Parshas משפטים, since this Parsha took place before חטא העגל, and so Hashem’s love was solid. The last pasuk of the Parsha says- וכפר עליו הכהן לפני הויה ונסלח לו. In the month of אדרwhich are the letters ארד, the last and hidden month, especially when we have a leap year, we need atonement חודש אדר השני=888=וכפר עליו הכהן לפני הויה ונסלח לו. We were given a new Derech- מרדכי , a new entrance- פתחיה. Mordechai showed the yidden a new path in serving Hashem, even for the outcasts, the גרש Jews, that י”ט doesn’t atone for פתחיה=503=גרש.