Food for Thought by Ezra Frazer


   פרשת ויקרא deals primarily with the rules of קרבנות.  The parsha opens with the rules of the animal and bird קרבנות עולה.  The Torah then goes on a tangent about the rules of מנחות before returning to the rules of other animal קרבנות.  Why are מנחות inserted here?

   Why does the Torah require (ב:יא) that מנחות (flour offerings) be brought without any שאר or דבש (literally leavening agents or honey), which Rashi interprets as a general prohibition against sweetening from fruits?

   The general rule for one who accidentally does sins which require a קרבן is that this קרבן must be a female goat (ד:כח,לב).  However, פרק ה states that one who mistakenly transgresses the sins of swearing falsely that he does not know testimony (שבועת עדות), entering the מקדש or eating something holy while being ritually impure (טומאת מקדש וקדשיו), and taking a false oath (such as "I will do X" and not doing it), the sinner brings his choice of קרבן, depending on his wealth.  Why are these sins singled out for having a different type of קרבן?

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