The parsha Vayikra is the first portion in the middle book of the Torah. This third book is known as Vayikra or Leviticus. As with the first parsha in the other books, this one has the same name as the book it starts. Vayikra parsha is Leviticus 1:1–5:26. In this section, G-d gives Moses the laws to govern offerings brought to the sanctuary.

There are many different kinds of offerings. Some of the kinds of offerings include peace offerings, guilt offerings, offerings to atone for transgressions, offerings of thanks. One of the offerings is the Minkhah (מנחה‎). This was a vegetarian offering -- flour and oil. It was one that could be given (afforded) by the poorer people. This offering could accompany a burnt offering or be given in thanks by itself. This also became the name of the afternoon service or part of a service, Mincha.

This reading comes at or just before the first of Nissan, which is the first month of the Jewish lunar calendar. Happy New Year! So, Hachodesh (Exodus 12:1–20) may also be read at this time, since it describes the new moon as the start of the months and Nissan as the beginning of all months.

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Book Parashot
Bereshit / Genesis Bereshit (parsha) Noach Lekh-L'kha Vayera Haye Sarah Toldot Vayetze Vayishlah Vayeshev Miketz Vayigash Vayehi
Sh'mot / Exodus Sh'mot (parsha) Vaera Bo B'shalah Yitro Mishpatim Terumah Tetzaveh Ki Tissa Vayakhel Pekudei
Vayikra / Leviticus Vayikra (parsha) Tzav Shemini Tazria Metzora Ahare Mot Kedoshim Emor B'har B'hukotai
B'midbar / Numbers B'midbar (parsha) Naso B'ha'alotekha Shlah Korah Hukkat Balak Pinhas Mattot Masei
D'varim / Deuteronomy D'varim (parsha) Va'et'hanan Ekev Re'eh Shoftim Ki Tetze Ki Tavo Nitzavim Vayelekh Ha'azinu V'zot Haberakhah