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Parshat Vayikra: The Battle Inside (Chevlei Moshiach)

by Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

In Parshat Vayikra the Torah teaches us about korbanot, the offerings/sacrifices. The korbanot were made in order to affect forgiveness for an avera, a transgression.

What actually is an avera? An avera is something that we do that causes us to move in a direction that blocks Hashem’s light. It’s related to the word, ever, which means the other side or pass by. An avera causes Hashem’s light to pass us by, according to Reb Nosson. So why does anyone do an avera?

We have inside an animal energy and a human energy, sometimes referred to as an animal soul and a human soul. These two different aspects of ourselves pull in different directions. The human soul, the human energy, pulls us in the direction of refining ourselves, always working on moving up and coming closer to Hashem, elevating ourselves. The natural pull of the animal soul combats this. The yetzer hara jumps in an says: “You can’t live without fulfilling this desire.” Or, “Just do it, it’s really not so bad.”

Sometimes we give in to desires that aren’t spiritually (or physically) healthy for us, and when we do, it connects us to a lower energy. When a person gave into this energy, in the times of the Beit Hamikdash, they would bring a korban, an animal sacrifice. This would atone for giving into this animal energy. Now he could focus on his human energy.

Today we don’t have the offerings because we don’t have the Beit Hamikdash. We do have prayer and hitbodedut. Talking to Hashem helps us work through these two forces inside, and to work through, with our minds and our hearts, into transforming that negative pull into a positive pull.

It used to be that even in secular society people understood that there were pulls from two directions inside us. They understood that giving into the pull to do things that would naturally harm our soul, which is very holy and precious, wouldn’t be good or healthy.

As predicted, as the time of Moshiach’s rule comes closer and closer, these two energies are in a very great struggle, a fight for life. This is part of the chevlei Moshiach (the birthpangs of Moshiach). Therefore, the urge to give into the negative pull, the animal energy, is extremely great as the yetzer hara is fighting for its life! When we pray and when we talk to Hashem every day in hitbodedut it becomes easier to dispense with that negative energy and to move towards Hashem. Talk to Hashem, choose good.

May you have a day in which you choose what brings you closer to Hashem.

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