Vayikra / וַיִּקְרָאEdit

Vayikra / וַיִּקְרָאEdit


Tzav / צַ֤וEdit

Shmini / שְּׁמִינִ֔יEdit

Tazria / תַזְרִיעַEdit

Metzora / מְּצוֹרָעEdit

Acharie Mot / אַחֲרֵי מוֹתEdit

Corresponding to pages 56a through 80a of the Third Volume of the Zohar

[56a] (Lev. 16:1) "And Hashem spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron... and Hashem said to Moses". Rabbi Yehuda comments: Since the verse says, "And Hashem spoke to Moses," what need is there to repeat "and Hashem said to Moses, Speak to your brother Aaron...?" The first statement should have sufficed. We learn that it is written, "And Hashem (lit. 'He') called to Moses and (lit. 'Hashem') spoke to him" (Lev. 1:1) and also, "And He said to Moses, Come up to Hashem" (Shemot 24:1). It has already been established that the discourse here represents one level (Malchut). Afterwards, the words, "AND HASHEM SPOKE TO HIM" OR "COME UP TO HASHEM" represent another level (Ze'er Anpin). Here too in our text, "And Hashem spoke to Moses" represents one level (the level of judgment referred to as "speaking") and afterwards the verse, "And Hashem said to Moses, Speak to your brother Aaron" represents another level, (the quality of Mercy, which is "Saying") which reveals that they carry one equal scale and all are joined from one source.

"After the death of the two sons of Aaron" Rabbi Yitzchak opened the discussion saying, "Serve Hashem in fear, and rejoice with trembling" (Tehilim 2:11). It is also written, "Serve Hashem with gladness: come before Him with singing" (Ps. 100:2). These verses appear to contradict one another. We have learned that "serve Hashem in fear" means that one must first show fear and awe in every act he wishes to perform before his Master. As a result of this reverence before his Master, he will merit to serve with joy the commandments of the Torah. Therefore, it is written, "What does Hashem your Elohim require of you, but to fear" (Devarim 10:12).

"And rejoice with trembling," that man must not overly rejoice in this world, referring only to worldly matters, but one must rejoice in the matters of Torah and the performance of precepts. Then man will find himself able to perform Torah and precepts with happiness, as it is written, "Serve Hashem with gladness."

Rabbi Aba said, "Serve Hashem in fear" [56b] What fear is meant here? As we have established, it is written, "The fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge" (Mishlei 1:7) and "the fear of Hashem is the beginning of wisdom" (Tehilim 111:10), so the Holy One, blessed be He, is referred to in this name, "Fear of Hashem," Rabbi Elazar said: "Serve Hashem in fear," he who wishes to perform the service of his Master, from what point should he begin and to which area should he aim his service in order to unify the name of his Master? He repeats his words "with fear," because fear (which corresponds to Malchut) is the start (of service) going from below upwards.

Come and see: It is written here, "After the death" and later, "Speak to Aaron your brother...Thus shall Aaron come." (Vayikra 16:2-3). (From the death of the sons of Aharon) commences the warning to each of the priests that they must be mindful of Zot (Eng. 'this' fem.), which is the fear of Hashem.

Another explanation for, "After the death of the two sons of Aaron." Rabbi Yosi said: It should have read, 'After the death of Nadab and Abihu,' so what is the reason (that it says) "The two sons of Aaron?" It is obvious that they were his sons. We have learned that until that time they were not adults but still under the authority of their father. Hence, "when they came near before Hashem, and died" (Vayikra 16:1), they were rushing the time (of offering incense) during the lifetime of their father, and there was more, because of the sin they committed "when they offered a foreign fire" (Bemidbar 3:4) as we learned, in one place it is written, "When they offered a foreign fire." In another place, it is written, "When they came near before Hashem," (The combination of) both matters (caused their deaths), and so it is written here, "The two sons of Aaron". It is written, "When they came near". Rabbi Chiya said: One day I was traveling to Rabbi Shimon to be taught by him the laws of the Pesach. I encountered a mountain and I saw clefts and cavities in one rock, and two men were in there. As I approached, I heard the voices of these people who were saying, "A song, a psalm for the sons of Korach, Great is Hashem and highly to be praised..." (Tehilim 48:1-2). Why "A song, a psalm?" Thus do we learn on behalf of Rabbi Shimon: The song is two-fold, and since it is a better song than other songs, it is named "song" twice. Similarly, "A psalm, a poem for the Shabbat day" (Tehilim 92:1). In the same fashion, "the song of songs which is Solomon's" (Shir Hashirim 1:1), a song that stands above all other songs.

"A song, a psalm". It is a song describing the Holy One, blessed be He, which the sons of Korach were singing about those who were dwelling in the doorway of Gehenom. Who were (the sons of Korach)? They were the brothers of those residing at the gates of Geheno. As a result, this song was recited on Monday (in the Temple). I approached them and said to them: What are you doing in this place? They replied: We are merchants, but twice weekly we leave our community to study Torah here because (in the settlement we are disturbed) by people and they do not allow us (to study Torah). I replied to them: How fortunate is your lot.

Furthermore, they said: Every time that the righteous depart this world, there is likewise annulled from this world all the harsh decrees, and the death of the righteous brings forgiveness for the sins of the generation. Therefore, we read the portion dealing with the sons of Aaron on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to bring forgiveness for the sins of Yisrael. The Holy One, blessed be He, says, 'Contemplate the death of these pious ones, and it will be accredited for you, as if you offered sacrifice this day to attain forgiveness.' We have learned that as long as Yisrael will be in exile and neither be able to offer offerings on this day nor will they be able to offer the two goats, they will at least have the memory of the two sons of Aaron. Thus, it will serve as atonement for them.

We have learned that it is written, "These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests" (Bemidbar 3:3) and also, "Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Elazar and Itamar" (Ibid. 2). It should read: 'And Elazar and Itamar" so why write "Elazar and Itamar?" (i.e. why delete the Vav). Abihu was equal to his two brothers and Nadab is equal to all the others.

The firstborn Nadab stands on his own merits and Abihu rests on his own, that each one are considered in the eyes (of the Torah) as both Elazar and Itamar (combined). But Nadab and Abihu by themselves are each considered equal to the seventy members of the Sanhedrin who served before Moses. For this reason, their deaths atoned for Yisrael. Therefore, it is written, "But let your brethren, the whole house of Yisrael bewail the burning" (Vayikra 10:6). Rabbi Shimon said: "Nadab the firstborn," meaning he is the one that all acclaim and praise are his. How much more so with Nadab and Abihu (together), because these two have no equal among all Yisrael.

"And Hashem spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron" (Vayikra 16:1). Rabbi [57a]

Kedoshim / קְדוֹשִׁיםEdit

Emor / אֱמוֹרEdit

Behar / בְּהַרEdit

Bechukotai / בְּחֻקּוֹתַיEdit