Dvar Torah Parshat Vayikra 5772 2012

The Torah is discussing the various sacrifices that one must bring to atone for a transgression. Among these laws we find also sacrifices that a נשיא or the ruler of the people must bring when he transgresses. This in itself is noteworthy that the נשיא, the ruler of the Jewish people, should be guilty of a sin. Nevertheless the Torah talks about it to show he is also accountable for his actions and must live up to the laws of the Torah.

What is peculiar about this commandment is the way the Torah words it. The Torah says, “When a ruler sins” וְעָשָׂה אַחַת מִכָּל מִצְוֹת “and commits one from all the commandments of Hashem that may not be done…”. The Torah does not say “he did one of the transgressions that may not be done”. It rather refers to a מצוה, a commandment that he did which he was not supposed to do.

This is strange, but in it lies a serious message. The ruler may think he has the right to do certain things and even may consider that he is doing a מצוה, when in fact it is a wrong, a transgression.

Everyone can be guilty of this. We often do things which we may think are honorable or commendable when in fact we are doing wrong and may even be harming someone by it. Before any action we must thing first what can be the consequences of doing this act.


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