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March 27, 2023

Archive for March 15, 2014

Shmini (On the Eighth Day) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion


Leviticus, 9:1-11:47

This Week’s Torah Portion | March 9 – March 15, 2014 – Adar II 7 – Adar II 13, 5774

In A Nutshell

The portion, Shmini (On the Eighth Day), deals with the events of the eighth day after the seven days of filling.[1] This is the inauguration day of the tabernacle. Aaron and his sons offer special sacrifices on this day. Moses and Aaron go to bless the people, and finally, the Creator appears to the people of Israel.

Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu sin with offering on a foreign fire, and the fire consumes them. Aaron and the remaining sons receive special instructions how to conduct themselves in the situation, and among others orders, they are forbidden to mourn.

The portion tells of another misunderstanding between Moses and Aaron and his sons concerning eating the sin offering. The portion ends with the rules concerning forbidden food, detailing the animals, beasts, poultry, and fish that are forbidden to eat. Rules of Tuma’a (impurity) and Taharah (purity) are also briefly explained.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

The portion mentions many details concerning the tabernacle and offering sacrifices, what is forbidden and what is permitted. How should we understand it internally?

We need to examine which of our 613 desires we need to correct, and how. It was said about man, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the Torah as a spice,”[2] so we may correct our evil inclination—the egoistic desires—in which we think only of ourselves and cannot perform a single act of giving and love of others.

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Glossary – Shmini (On the Eighth Day) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Inauguration of the Tabernacle

“Inauguration of the tabernacle” is the point from which we can bring offerings, meaning correct our desires in actual fact. In that state we can correct each desire by making it similar to bestowal, love of others, the Creator. We become similar to the Creator in that desire, understand the wholeness of creation, the eternity of creation. We ourselves become as the Creator, as it is written, “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God” (Hosea, 14:2). This is what we should achieve, and these actions bring about great joy.

So it is not a coincidence that the revelation of the Creator is mentioned on the same day as the inauguration of the tabernacle. But what does revealing the Creator mean?

Upon beginning to perform the work of the tabernacle we discover the Creator according to the law of equivalence of form. As we perform the same acts as the Creator, the Creator “dresses” in us, and we begin to feel that our actions create our situation, our place, and our status. One who performs acts of bestowal and love, correcting one’s evil inclination, becomes like the Creator. This is why such a person is called “man” (Adam), from the word Domeh (similar) to the Creator.

It is said that Nadav and Avihu sacrificed with foreign fire. What does it mean?

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