Parshat Vayiqra (And He Called)

The Torah portion is Vayiqra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26. In synagogues using the Triennial system, 5784 is year 2 and the Torah reading is Leviticus 3:1-4:26.

This is the first parshah of the Book of Vayiqra, known in English as Leviticus. The name of the book, as with all parshiyot, is simply the first distinctive word in the parshah. It provides detailed procedures for making various types of offerings, and the offerings required for certain sins.

There is a special maftir portion (the final piece of the Torah reading) for Shabbat Zakhor: Deuteronomy 25:17-19. A reminder of the treachery of the Amalek, a group that preyed upon the weak as the Israelites fled Egypt. Remember what Amalek did to you... and blot out their memory! This is not a call to genocide but to put an end to those who prey upon the weak.

The haftarah is for Shabbat Zakhor, I Samuel 15:2-34. King Saul is sent to destroy the Amalekites, but he spares king Agag and his men took the spoil against G-d's wishes. The villain of Purim is an Agagite, a descendant of the spared king.

In synagogues using the Sephardic tradition, the Haftarah is I Samuel 15:1-34.