Parashat Vayikra – Bryant Ainhorn

Posted on March 6, 2014

In the fifth Aliyah of Parshat Vayikra, the Torah deals with sin offerings and the different types of sin offerings. The Torah only mentions one type of sinner: the unintentional sinner. In all of the cases that are brought up in this Aliyah, G-d only mentions the unintentional sinner. This is because, in my belief, there is no such thing as a true Rasha. Every person has a sense of purity and good within their souls and every person, if aware fully of the severity of their acts, would never in their right mind sin intentionally. That is because there are two types of sinners: the one who sins unaware of the prohibition of his act, and the sinner who does so not aware that it is a grave thing to do. The Torah then mentions that if a ruler (a king or leader) sins unintentionally, and his sin is made known to him, then he will bring a sin offering of an unblemished goat. [Vayikra:4:22-23].

In Pasuk Chav Gimel, the Hebrew says: “Oh hoda elav chatato asher chata bah v’heibi et karbano seir izim zahar tamim.” That if his sin is made known to him, he will bring his offering: an unblemished male goat. But if a variation of the word “asher” is used and said “ashrei,” the root of both words is osher (happiness), then one can read that he will happily bring his sin offering. This is because there is no such person as a true Rasha. Since everyone has a sense of purity within their souls, they will happily come closer to G-d in order to fix their sins. Now, if a ruler does this and goes out to atone for his sin, then how much more would a regular person do so? If humans learn more through deeds and examples rather than words, then how much more would a regular person be willing to and happily repent after seeing a ruler do so.

The message to be taken from here is that if someone takes this role of the “ruler” and takes the initiative then others will surely follow and begin their own initiatives. If a “ruler” repents, then the common people will come to see their faults and repent as well. By someone going out and doing something in a pleasant manner then it can inspire others to do so as well. Everyone is a leader as everyone is capable of having this “ruler” effect on others and inspire other people. So, we should all take our own initiatives, realizing the power we have of affecting others and how others may communicate and come closer to G-d.