Parshat ויקרא Leviticus 1:2 – A Man


Leviticus 1:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man [adam] from [among] you brings a sacrifice to the Lord; from animals, from cattle or from the flock you shall bring your sacrifice.

Yerushalmi Shekalim, Chapter 1, Halacha 4:  The word “Man” [adam]is used to include converts

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #6:

This same drasha is mentioned in the Toras Cohanim on this posuk. The commentaries worked hard to explain in what way the word “man” comes to include converts. The common [thought] in all their comments is an effort to find a differentiation between the uses of the word “person” [ish] with the use of the word “man” [adam]. [It could be thought] that the word “person” [ish] implies someone of a higher level while the use of the word “man” [adam] implies just any man. Therefore, [one might say] that from the fact that it uses the word “man” [adam] here and not “person” [ish], that is how we can conclude that it implies converts. Look in the book “HaTorah v’haMitzvah” to see the examples that he brings and the great length to which he discusses this.

However, note that there are proofs to the opposite that are contained in the words of our sages. For example, when Scripture says “And you are called ‘man’” [adam] [referring to the Jewish people] [VALIDATE WHERE THIS IS FROM] In the Zohar on Parshas Tazriah it mentions various levels of people, “bar nash”, “adam”, “gever”, “enosh”, “ish” and it says there that the highest level is “man” [adam]. This is alluded to in the posuk (Genesis 5:2) where it says, “He called their name “Man” [adam] on the day He created them”. Similarly the Zohar comments in Deuteronomy [VALIDATE WHERE THIS IS FROM] that a wise scholar is called “man” [adam] while an ignorant person is not called “man” [adam]. ThIt also seems logical that the term “man” [adam] is more honorific [than the term “ish”] since “man” [adam] alludes to the higher similarity [with God] as it says in the posuk “let us make “man”[adam]  in Our image”. Further we find that non-Jews are labeled with the term “person” [ish] as it says in Parshas Emor “a person” [ish] who makes a vow; and this is taken to include non-Jews. And so too with many further examples [showing “ish” referring to non-Jews].

But were it not for the words of these [previous] commentaries, I would perhaps say that the drasha to include converts from the wording in our posuk is not exclusively from the use of the word “adam” but actually more from the entire phrase of the posuk. [Our posuk is actually an example of a misplaced modifier.] Instead of saying [as it actually does in Hebrew] “a man who sacrifices from amongst you”, it should have actually said “”a man from amongst you who sacrifices…” If it had used this later phrase, I would be able to understand the posuk to only refer to Jewish people. However, since the words “from you” come to be not in their proper place we then know that the posuk [even] refers to people who are converts.

However, apparently, the whole drash needs further investigating. The fact that converts can bring sacrifices should be obvious from the fact that non-Jews can also bring sacrifices. If a non-Jew can bring sacrifices, then certainly a convert can. Perhaps the answer to this question is that non-Jews are only allowed to bring “Olot” sacrifices [burnt offerings where the whole sacrifice is burned on the altar], as is explained in Parshas Emor (22:18). From converts, on the other hand, we accept any type of sacrificial offering [because they are treated fully as Jews]

Editor’s Note: Read this one carefully between the lines. The Torah Temimah is defending non-Jews and converts. Further, he is defending the Torah itself from the idea that it refers to non-Jews or converts as being in a lower level than Jews.

Again, it is always fantastic to hear the Torah Temimah say “were it not for the previous scholars, I would say as follows…” and then we listen as he proceeds to give his opinion.


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