Torah scroll, illustration
Torah scroll, illustrationMendy Hechtman/Flash90

This week’s Parshah contains further elucidation of the various Korbanot\Sacrifices.

We find that the verse states:

[Vayikra 7’ 37’]

“Such are the rituals of the burnt offering, the meal offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the offering of ordination, and the sacrifice of well-being.”

The Talmud notices the rather interesting phraseology of the above Verse [the Possuk states “Such are the TORAT\Rituals of the burnt offering etc.], and comments:

“Reish Lakish said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “These are the rituals [torah] of the burnt offering, of the meal offering, and of the sin offering, and of the guilt offering, and of the consecration offering, and of the sacrifice of peace offerings” (Leviticus 7:37)? This teaches that anyone who engages in Torah study is considered as though he sacrificed a burnt offering, a meal offering, a sin offering, and a guilt offering.”

Commentaries offer, that based on the principle laid out in the above Gemara, one can explain the somewhat puzzling that Yaakov sends to Esav [Bereishit 32’ 4’-5’]

“Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, and instructed them as follows, “Thus shall you say, ‘To my lord Esau, thus says your servant Jacob: I stayed with Laban and remained until now;”

Rashi comments [ad. loc.] that the word “Garti” that Yaakov uses to convey that he had been dwelling with Lavan has the numerical value of 613 [which is the total number of Mitzvot]; thus, Yaakov was communicating that he had kept all 613 Mitzvot—this of course begs the question, how could Yaakov project this idea, there were hundreds of Mitzvot that he could not have done while at Lavan’s house? [E.G.--not keeping any of the Mitzvot associated with the land of Israel!]

The answer could very well be that Yaakov did not cease his studies of the 613 Mitzvot, and as recorded in the Gemara quoted earlier, when one learns about a Mitzvah, credit is given for actually fulfilling that commandment!

May the merit of our Torah reading this week, as well as the studies of this topic, help bring the rebuilding of the Temple speedily in our days, especially during this fortuitous time between Purim and Pesach, with our nation in such need of a G-dly redemption!