Parsha Vayikra



The Torah describes the primary role of sacrifices, namely to reinforce the relationship with God through the Olah, the burnt sacrifice. Then it goes on describe the process in general, the animals, the procedure. From there it goes on to list personal obligations, the Sin Offerings. For when we do things wrong and need to recognize our faults in a tangible way. We all make mistakes. No human is perfect

Notice how the Torah starts off with the obligation of the High Priest to atone when he does wrong before he can stand up before the community as good example. Then the Torah goes on to deal with when the whole community acts inappropriately, and then the Ruler, the Prince or the King. The Talmud includes the Sanhedrin in this list. Only finally does it turn to the obligation of the individual.

The message is clear. Leaders, religious or political, need to be good honest people themselves and correct their errors, the community itself must be run along ethical lines, if one expects individuals to step up and do the right thing. But conversely even if our leaders are corrupt, we individuals cannot use this to excuse or ignore our own mistakes.