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Home » Vayikra Parshah

Vayikra: Is it Meaningful?

Submitted by on March 19, 2006 – 3:49 amNo Comment | 3,024 views

Sin and Atonement

This week’s Parsha teaches that when a Jew commits a sin inadvertently he must bring a sin offering to atone for his violation.

Why must a Jew be taken to task for an innocent mistake? Say, for example, he kindles a fire on Saturday not remembering that it was Shabbat. He had no intention of disobeying G-d’s law nor would he have done so had he remembered. Why is his behavior considered sinful and in need of atonement?

The Origin of Sin

When I was in Cheder I remember my friends coming to school claiming that they had forgotten their homework. (Of course that never happened to me …) I remember the way my teacher demanded to know why they so often forgot to bring their homework but never forgot to bring their pants. While the response itself was memorable, the point was well taken. We always go the extra mile to ensure that what is meaningful to us is done correctly.

Genuine commitment prompts to carefully consider the course we choose on a given day. We double and triple check to ensure that all is as it needs to be. It therefore stands to reason that inadvertent sin is the product of casual indifference. Clearly then, the responsibility for such sin lies with the sinner and for that he must seek atonement.


The path to atonement includes reflection on the meaning infused by a Mitzvah and the void left by sin.

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