Now that the Mishkan has been built and complete, the Portion or Parshah begins with G-d speaking to Moses in the Mishkan. G-d tells him of the korbonat–the sacrifices that were an important part of the service in the Mishkan. We learn about various types of sacrifices:

  • the olah, also known as the burnt offering, which is burnt entirely on the altar
  • five types of mincha offerings, which are sacrifices made from flour and olive oil
  • the shelamim, the “peace offering,” part of which was burnt on the altar, and part of which was eaten by the person who brought the sacrifice, as well as parts given by the owner to the Kohen.
  • the chatat, various sacrifices brought as an atonement for someone who sinned
  • The asham, a sacrifice brought for certain sins. These are: A) If somebody accidentally uses something that’s supposed to be for the Mishkan  B) If someone thinks he may have sinned, but he is not sure  C) if somebody swears falsely while trying to cheat somebody.

Vayikra is also called Torat Kohanim- Instructions for the Priests. The word for sacrifice in Hebrew, korban, comes from the root word k-r-v (to come close). The name explains the reasons for the sacrifices-to be closer to God. The portion/parasha offers details of how to prepare and offer the sacrifice as well as reasons why someone would offer a specific kind of sacrifice.


  1. Mishkan
  2. Kohanim
  3. Sacrifices
  4. Gratitude
  5. Torah portion




  • What are you thankful for?
  • How do you express your gratitude – to your friends, your family and your teachers?
  • Have you ever written a thank-you note? Have you ever received a thank-you note? What did it say? How did it make you feel?
  • If you could write a thank-you note to God, what would it say?