Parshas Vayikra:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il

Parshas Vayikra:

Pasuk (1:2):

The Pasuk says, "Speak to the Bnei Yisroel; when one, from amongst you, brings an offering to Hashem...".

Many commentators come and ask, why does the Pasuk add the word "Mikem" ?(from amongst you)

Also, why does the Pasuk start off in the singular form, "Adam", and ends off in the plural, "Takrivuh Es Karbanchem?

The Medrash Tanchumah brings down two differing opinions on the reason for bringing Korbanos.

1) Ramban - The main reason is in order for the sinner to take to heart that this animal should really be him on the Mizbeiach. It is not enough to just bring the Korban, one must also repent and do Teshuvah for his sin.

2) Rambam - Holds that the main reason for the bringing of the Korban is because Hashem saw that it was hard for the Bnei Yisroel to separate them selves, from giving animals for Avodah Zarah, (and to prevent them from worshiping the animals.)

The Meshech Chachmah uses both of the above opinions and explains that the Rambam was talking about the times when there were Bamos, they were used in order to prevent Avodah Zarah.

However Karbanos in the Mikdash were used to bring one to do Teshuvah.

We also know that nowadays, since we don't have Korbanos, we have Tefilah instead of Korbanos.

Comes Rav Shlezinger (Alei Hadvarim) and explains that when one Davens at home and not in Shul with the Tzibur, it is similar to the time of bringing Korbanos on the Bamah.

However, one who Davens in a Shul with a Minyan, that is the type of Korbanos that Hashem prefers, this type of Korban can bring a person to do Teshuvah.

(This does not mean that a person that Davens in his house is wicked... it is just to bring out how important it is to Daven with a Minyan.)

So why does the Pasuk say "From amongst you…" ?

It comes to tell us that one must bring the Korban as if he was the Sacrifice, that he should feel it inside and do Teshuvah. The same is with Tefilah, if one Davens and he doesn't feel any change in himself, he has not accomplished real Tefilah. A person should feel closer to Hashem when he Davens, and thus come closer to Hashem through ones Tefilah.

Comes Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch and explains that the word Korban comes from the word "Karov", it is used to bring one closer to Hashem.

The Sefer "Ein Ha Ayah"(Rav Kook, on Gmarah Berachos) brings down that Tefilah is used to lift up the power of ones "Guf", to a higher level, to reach a level of holiness. The main reason for Tefilah is to cleanse the body with holiness, this is why the Gemarah in Shabbos (10:a) calls Tefilah "Chayei Shah". Rav Yakov Ariel explains that Talmud Torah is called Chayei Olam, for one remembers what he has learned, and he can always go over his learning. Yet in Tefilah, if one Davens correctly, he can reach a spiritual high, that brings one a temporary feeling of holiness. This feeling one can not save, and each time one must try to obtain this feeling in prayers, therefore Tefilah is called Chayei Shahah.

Why do we change from Yachid -> Rabim?

So Rav Kook(Ein Ha Ayah) explains that one who Davens only for himself, his Tefilah is not wanted. One must put the goodness for his friend in his heart when he prays. One must request from Hashem, good for his freind, both in Ruchnias and in Gashmius.

When a person Davens to Hashem he should bring out his inner-self, he should feel like he is giving himself all to Hashem, however, one must not forget that he is not alone, and that he must have in mind for the good in others.

Thus the Pasuk is telling us two things one should have in mind when Davening.

1) It should be from the heart, "Bachem..."

2) We should have in mind for others, "Takrivuh Eis Korbanchem."

To end off, the (Shlah; Tanya) bring down that the Pasuk starts off by saying, an offering for Hashem, yet it ends off by saying an offering for you ? Why the change?

They answer that one who offers a Korban from himself, because he wants to get closer to Hashem, then the Korban would end up as an offering to Hashem.

Yet if one just goes through the services, and just reads the print, without any trying to get closer to Hashem, the Korban (Tefilah) will remain his offering.

As Rabbi Avraham J. Twerski (Not Just Stories: Prayer) writes, we should improve the quality of our prayers, so that they emerge from our hearts rather than just from our lips.

  Birchas Ha Ilanos in Nissan:

The Gemarah (Berachos 43:b) brings down, that if one goes out in the month of Nissan, and he sees fruit trees that are blossoming, and the flower will end up as a fruit, he should say the Beracha, "Sheloh Cheseir Beh Olamoh Klum, Uh Barah Boh Briyot Tovot Veh Ilanot Tovot, Leh Heinot Bahem Bnei Adam."

The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 226) brings this down as Halacha.

This Beracha is supposed to be said preferably in the month of Nissan, the Yechava Daas, brings down that this is done in Nissan for the Tikun of the Neshamos (Zohar Hakadosh, Parshas Balak.)

The Sefer Har Tzvi asks, "Does one Davkah say the Beracha in Nissan, since that is the time of nature, when the blossoming occurs. Or do we say not Davkah in Nissan, and in any month that one sees the blosseming.

He comes and answers that even according to the opinions that hold Davkah, nevertheless in places that the blossoming occurs in a different time of the year, because their seasons are at different times (like in South America), they would say it in a different month. However, in Eretz Yisroel and the like, where most of the blossoming occurs in Nissan, here one should Davkah say it in the month of Nissan. And even if one sees blosseming in Adar, like that of the Almond tree, since it blossoms early, one should never the less wait until


If one didn't say the Beracha in Nissan he may say it in Iyar.

And the (Yechava Daas, Tsitz Eliezer) bring down that this is not a case of "Safek Berachs Lehakel", since it is only found in the Baal Hilchos Ketanos, that one must say it Davkah in Nissan. And therefore it is only "Daat Yachid".

Also, in places like South America, that the trees start blossoming in a different month, one should say the Beracha in that month, even Leh Chatchilah.

The Tur and Shulchan Aruch write that once the fruit appear on the tree, one should not make the blessing. The Mordechai writes that one should make the blessing.

The Minhag is, if one did not say the Beracha on his first sighting of fruit trees blossoming, he may say it the next time he sees them, however if there is already ripe fruit on the trees, one is not allowed to make the Beracha.(M.B.)

While the Kaf Hachaim, says if one says it in Iyar, it should be without "Shem Umalchus''.

This Beracha is only said on fruit trees. Why?

Comes the Aruch Hashulchan (226:1) and explains that this Beracha is in order to give praise to Hashem, that he created things for man, that are not compulsory in order for man to live, while seeds and vegetables are compulsory.

One therefore makes the Beracha during the blossoming, for this is the time that one sees fruits will come out of the tree.

This is a Berchas Hodayah.

One may say this Beracha also at nighttime.

One does not say this blessing on trees that do not produce fruit.

The Sefer Rav Pealim(O.C. part 2 siman 36) brings down that when the fruit tree that he sees blossoming, was produced through "Murkav"(mixing to species together), when it was done by mixing two totally different species, one should not make the Beracha on this. For one who mixed the species, is going against Hashem's wishes, and how can one be happy when he sees this.

A tree that is in the first three years of its planting, has the Din of Orlah.

One should not make the blessing on such a tree.

If it is a doubt if it is still in its first three years, in Israel one should not make the Beracha, in Chutz L'aretz, one may make the Beracha.

However, there are those opinions that allow one to make a Beracha even in the first three years of the trees planting, for one is not enjoying the actual fruit, and the trees themselves were not done through an Issur, like by Morkav. And the fruits that come out of the tree are forbidden to be eaten because of an Issur Hanaah, yet we know "Mitzvot Lav L'henot Nit".(Sefer Rav Poalim O.C. part 3 siman 9).

It is preferred to make the Beracha at a place that has many trees, if he has no place like this, he should look for at least two fruit trees, even if they are the same type. (Kaf Hachaim).(For the Gemarah says "Ilanos", in plural, yet the Gemarah doesn't say that they have to be two different types of trees.)

Some say one can make the Beracha even when he only sees one tree, while some disagree.

Since Safek Berachos Leh Hakel, it is preferred not to make the Beracha when he only sees one tree.

Some say it is preferred to say the Beracha outside of the city.

The Tsitz Eliezer brings down that we can learn from the wording "One that goes out", that one must see the blossoming from a tree attached to the ground, outdoors, and not to make the Beracha on seeing a branch,cut of from the tree, that is blossoming.

The Beracha is only said once a year.

Are women also required to say the Beracha ?

There are those that try and say that this Beracha is that of "Mitzvaht Asei Sheh Hazman Geramah", and thus women would not have to say the Beracha.

However, comes the Tsitz Eliezer(12:20), and explains that even according to the opinion that one must say it Davkah in Nissan, still the Beracha is like that of "Nehanin", and he asks, are women exempted from saying Birchat Hanehanim?

He brings down Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank (Har Tzvi) and concludes that it is not a "Mitzvas Asei Shei Hazman Geramah", and women are also required to say the Beracha.

When dealing with a blind man, since there is a Machlokes if a blind man should make the Beracha, it is best for him to be Yotzay the Beracha from someone else, or to say the Beracha without "Sheim Uh Malchus".

There is a Machlokes if one may make this Beracha on Shabbos & YomTov.

For we are afraid that one may move the tree or pick a flower.

Thus it is best not to make the Beracha then, however, if this is the only time that one is able to say the Beracha, he should make the Beracha.

It is preferred to say the Beracha with a Minyan, however, if one want's to say the Beracha on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and there is no Minyan then, he should say it on Rosh Chodesh, for "Zerezen Makdimim Leh Mitzvot is more important than saying it with a Minyan. (Gemarah Rosh Hashanah 32:b).