Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

Download print

Parashat VaYikra- Hard Work is Good

The Midrash observes that in the Torah’s account of the creation of light in Parashat Bereshit, the word "Or" ("light") appears five times. These five instances of the word "Or," the Midrash comments, correspond to the five books of the Torah. The Torah is our source of "light," giving us the knowledge and perspective we need in order to live our lives properly, the way G-d wants us to live. Appropriately, then, the word "Or" in the story of creation alludes to the Torah, the "light" which guides us each and every moment of our lives.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson, 1902-1994) noted that if, indeed, the five instances of "Or" in the creation story correspond to the five books of the Humash, then we should assume that each instance has a specific connection to the corresponding book. This would mean that the third instance of the word "Or" is particularly relevant to the third book of the Humash, which we begin reading this week – the Book of Vayikra.

The third time the word "Or" is mentioned is in the verse, "Va’yar Elokim Et Ha’or Ki Tob" – "G-d saw that the light was good" (Bereshit 1:4). The description of light as "good," the Lubavitcher Rebbe explained, is especially appropriate for the Book of Vayikra. This book is, without question, the most technical and most difficult of all the books of the Humash. Unlike the other books, there is hardly any narrative in Vayikra, as it contains mainly laws. And not only does it consist mainly of laws – but the laws it presents are the most complex and intricate, involving the procedure for offering the sacrifices and the laws of Tum’a and Tahara (impurity and purity). Precisely for this reason, the Book of Vayikra is "good." The Zohar teaches that hard work and effort in the study of Torah is especially beneficial and brings great blessing. The Book of Vayikra can be studied only with hard work and exertion. The material is technical, complicated and involved, and it can be understood only through patient, diligent study. And so the "light" of the Book of Vayikra is "good" – because while the study of any part of Torah is valuable and precious, the study of this book, which requires a great deal of work and effort, is especially precious.

We live at a time when comfort and convenience are placed on a pedestal, when we are led to believe that the easier something is, the better. From a Torah perspective, however, this is not the case. The Torah teaches us that the most valuable things in life are acquired through hard work and diligence. In order to reach meaningful and important achievements, we need to put in the work. Hard work is "good," and is what brings us the "light" we need to live properly and make the very most out of the short time we are given here in this world.



Related Parasha
Shabbat Zachor: Celebrating the Belief in Providence - 2022 Year
Pesah: Reexperiencing Spiritual Redemption - 2021 Year
Purim: Correcting the Mistake of the Jews of Shushan - 2019 Year
Parashat Vayikra- The Danger of a Scholar Who Lacks Manners - 2018 Year
Parashat Vayikra: The Joy of Misvot - 2017 Year
The Special Joy of Purim - 2016 Year
Parashat Vayikra: Remembering Adam’s Sin - 2015 Year
Parashat Vayikra: The Small Alef - 2014 Year
Parashat Vayikra: “An Animal Carcass is Better Than Him” - 2013 Year
Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Vayikra / Rosh Hodesh Nissan - 2012 Year
Parashat Vayikra: Making Sacrifices for Our Children - 2012 Year
Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Vayikra - 2011 Year
Parashat Vayikra- Positive Peer Pressure - 2011 Year
Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Vayikra - 2011 Year
Sefer/Parasha:
Parashat Vaet'Hanan: The Consolation of Shabbat Nahamu
Parashat Debarim: Believing That Our “Limp” Will Heal
Parashat Matot: Sincerely for the Sake of G-d
Parashat Pinhas: What Did Pinhas See?
Parashat Balak: The Story of Bilam as a Lesson in Emuna
Parashat Hukat: Avoiding Conflict – the Ultimate Good
Parashat Korah: Elevating Ourselves
Parashat Shelah- The Spiritual Mission of Yehoshua’s Spies
Parashat Behaalotecha: Remaining Loyal to Tradition
Parashat Naso: Learning From Our Forebears
Shabuot: Completing Our Celebration of the Exodus
Parashat Behukotai: Living Without Worry
Parashat Behar: Unquestioning Compliance
Parashat Emor- Turning Ourselves Into Sapphire
Kedoshim- The Reward for Honoring Parents
976 Parashot found