Parshat HaShavua – Vayikra
What better way to end the process of creating and building the Ohel Mo’ed – the Tent of Meeting – than to learn how we can connect directly with Hashem and what actions we can take to please Him! With Hashem’s cloud now residing on the Tent, we turn to the specific tasks, tools, and procedures for presenting offerings and sacrifices to Hashem. Essentially, we learn how the People of Israel are supposed to relate with Hashem, as well as what they are supposed to do when they fail to follow the rules and transgress in their relationships with Him and with each other!
We learn about the different animals and the purpose of each sacrifice. We find out how the Cohanim – the Priests – are to slaughter and use the different parts of the animals. And we are taught how the Priests will utilize some of the tools of the Ohel Mo’ed – specifically the altar.
This Parsha represents the epitome of the Techno-Tactical stage of a Creative Process. In the techno-tactical stage, we find people using specific tools, skills, and actions to interact and relate with others. We experience this in our everyday lives when we walk into a store and the salesperson uses specific skills and tools to engage with us as a customer. Soldiers demonstrate this when they go out to battle and use specific weapons in response to specific situations. Similarly, the Priests are taught exactly what they need to do – how they should act and utilize the tools provided them – to represent the people to Hashem.
The Parsha teaches about different offerings that are brought to sacrifice in tribute or to seek to rectify the relations with Hashem. These sacrifices were either totally or partially consumed by the fire on the altar – which was constructed during the Operative stage and put in place during the Tactical stage of this Creative Process.
Once the offering is brought to the Tent, the Torah breaks down the different tasks the Cohanim need to undertake. We learn that it is important to make sure the offering does not have any blemishes – similar to a soldier checking his weapon before going out on patrol. The Priests are instructed in the slaughter of the animals, how to collect and dash the blood around the altar, how to prepare the sacrifice – be it animal, meal, or fruit – and how to place it on a wood fire on the altar.
After describing the detailed process of the different offerings, the Parsha describes what a person should do if they have transgressed and incurred guilt with their fellow man. Here as well, we find there are clear details about how to rectify the relations with Hashem as well as with our brethren. Telling how we can redeem ourselves when we have acted poorly in our relationships.
Ultimately, how we relate to each other defines the outcome of our Creative Processes. Our actions, and the tools we bring to bear, are experienced by the other as we engage them at the Techno-Tactical Stage. It is not just who participates in the relationship, but how we use the skills and tools we have available as a result of our Creative Processes that determines how the other will receive the ideas we express.
Understanding when and how to use the tools at our disposal is an important lesson to learn. While that lesson starts with doctrine established earlier in the Creative Process, success or failure is ultimately determined by the actions we take and how we use those tools in our relations.
So it is about knowing when to use the different tools we have in our arsenal as we relate to those around us. While we learn when to shoot (off your mouth) or when to hold fire (and demonstrate patience) at the Operative Stage – which dictates doctrine and values we hold – those lessons are only experienced by the Other in the heat of battle and relations (arguments, debates, and sales) as we engage each other in the moment. This is true in business, war, and our relations with our families and friends.