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Name: Leviticus is the third book of the English Bible and it’s base Hebrew text corresponds to the third book of Torah called Vayikra וַיִּקְרָא . The first appearance of this Hebrew word is in Genesis 1.5. Vayikra can be spelled four different ways; (1) Vayikra (2) Va Yikra (3) Va-yika (4) Wayyiqra.

The first time “Leviticus” is used to refer to this text was by the seventy-two Jewish translators of the Greek Septuagint (LXX). Later Jerome, using the Septuagint, used this name in his Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale depended heavily upon the Latin Vulgate and Luther’s German translations; so continued the tradition of calling this text “Leviticus”. Vayikra is translated as “and called“.

The Rabbis refer to the third book of Torah as “Vayikra” וַיִּקְרָא because it is the first word in the text. The oldest name for this book is תורת כהנים The Law of the Priests1.


  1. ‘Pentateuch & Haftorahs Hebrew Text English Translation & Commentary”, Dr. JH Hertz, Editor. London. Soncino Press. 1994, PG. 409
Vayikra "and he called" Leviticus

Parsha Vayikra

  • Parsha
  • 1 min read

Vayikra וַיִּקְרָא is the twenty-fourth parsha reading in the yearly cycle; it is the first in the book of Leviticus (Vayikra) וַיִּקְרָא . Vayikra is translated as “and he called” and is the first word in the text.

Vayikra וַיִּקְרָא parsha summary

In parsha Vayikra וַיִּקְרָא we pick up were the book of Exodus (Shemot) ends. This section of text explains the acceptable offerings and the manner of slaughter. We begin with the The burnt offering and proceed to the meal offering. We continue with the peace and “sin” offerings. Finally, we will discuss the fifth offering  which is called the guilt offering. Our final reading, deals with an offering for dishonesty. It introduces the third type of guilty offering. It reveals how monetary misappropriation is a sin towards HaShem.