For an explanation of the methodology of this series, see the introduction.

"Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man from [among] you brings a sacrifice to G‑d; from animals, from cattle or from the flock you shall bring your sacrifice." (Lev. 1:2)

Peshat (basic meaning):

Rashi:"When a man from [among] you brings a sacrifice"
[Scripture is not dealing here with an obligatory sacrifice, in which case it would have said, "a man shall bring." Rather] Scripture is speaking here of voluntary sacrifices [and thus says, "When a man brings a sacrifice."]

"a man"
Adam, the first man, never offered sacrifices from stolen property... Why is Adam used here [for man] as opposed to [the more common term] Ish? [It alludes to Adam, the first man on earth, and teaches us:] Just as Adam, the first man, never offered sacrifices from stolen property, since everything was his, so too, you must not offer sacrifices from stolen property. [See article by R. Yaakov Feldman below on Adam.]

One might think that wild beasts are also included [and therefore may be offered up as sacrifices]. Scripture therefore states "from cattle or from the flock."

"you [pl.] shall bring"
[The plural form of the verb] teaches that two people may donate a voluntary burnt offering in partnership.

Siftei Chachamim: "Partnership" is implied by the shift from the singular subject of the subordinate clause, "when a person from among you will bring" to the main clause, "you [plural] shall bring "

"your sacrifice"
[The plural form] teaches us that [a burnt offering] may also be offered as a voluntary gift from the community. This sacrifice was called "olah keitz hamizbayach"-"the burnt-offering which was provision for the altar." [Every year, each twenty-year old male was taxed to give a silver half-shekel for communal sacrifices. (See Ex. 30:11-16.) This voluntary sacrifice] was purchased with any money remaining [from the previous year's collection of half-shekels, and was offered as a communal burnt offering when there were no individual offerings brought, in order to prevent the altar from being bereft of sacrifices. Thus, the name "provision for the altar"

Remez (hinted meaning):

There is no Baal HaTurim on this verse.

Derash (interpretive meaning):

Targum Yonatan: "Speak with the Children of Israel and say to them, "A man that brings from among you" (but not from an apostate who worships idols).

Ramban: The reason for this command is that since G‑d commanded later about bird offerings and meal offerings, He said here that when a man brings a cattle-offering it must be one of two kinds, either herd or flock, and not a wild beast or any other cattle. So one who offers a beast violates a positive commandment.

...your spirit will be the actual sacrifice.

Ohr HaChayim: One should not separate one's thoughts for even one moment. That is the secret of the sacrifice: "a man among you who brings a sacrifice to G‑d" refers to the sacrifice itself, a personal sacrifice of you; there will actually be a sacrifice when your spirit attaches to the sacrifice and thereby rises upwards. That is why the verse repeats the terms, "you will sacrifice" [lit. "bring your sacrifice near"] signifying that your spirit will be the actual sacrifice.

And why does the Torah use the expression Adam instead of Ish as usual? The Torah wants it to parallel the first man. Adam, who sinned. So the verse now reads, "If someone sins like Adam who was the first human being who sinned, he shall bring a sacrifice". This teaches that G‑d applied a different standard to Adam after he initially sinned. The penalty had been death — his mortality — and that he offered a sin-offering did not absolve him of his guilt, but such offerings will help Israel to atone for sins they commit inadvertently. ...

Once G‑d created Adam He made him of totally good parts so that no part of him was either mentally or physically defective such that it could cause him to sin. Once he sinned, he took on the form of a sinner, and the evil his life force/nefesh had absorbed became a part of every subsequent Israelite's body or soul. Even man's body absorbed that vestige of sin; the reminder of that contamination is the foreskin with which males are born...

The sin offering helps to secure a repentant man atonement for his thoughtlessness. While it is true that Adam's sin too was due to thoughtlessness. G‑d dealt fairly with him by not allowing him a second chance, seeing he did not have to overcome a spiritual or physical pollutant which urged him to disobey his Maker.

Sod (esoteric, mystical meaning):

Zohar Vayikra 5:
Rabbi Elazar [the son of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai] said, the scriptural verse: "If any man of you bring an offering to G‑d" should have been written in this manner: 'If any man brings an offering to G‑d'. Why is the phrase "of you" interposed here? The scriptural verse comes to exclude the first man, who also brought an offering when the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world. We have stated that "of you" alludes to any man, so "If any men of you bring an offering..." would exclude the other man since he is not one "of you." Rabbi Shimon said to him, you explained it quite satisfactorily! Indeed it is so.

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
Here we have the Sod related to the Rashi which picked up on the Midrash that hints that the word Adam/man here means Adam. THE ADAM.

R. Yaakov Feldman writes on Adam [in his translation of Ramhal's Da'at Tevunot/The Knowing Heart]: (Section 3, Chapter 14)

1. Of course the first person whose stature was demeaned by his misdeeds was Adam, who thus serves as the paradigm of the sort of a person who'd had a great potential that went unrealized

Before he sinned Adam was said to have been "crowned with such great and precious crowns of holiness that the angels above wanted to proclaim 'Holy, Holy, Holy!' in his presence" on the assumption that he was divine. (see Bereishit Rabba 88:6) For being the very handiwork of G‑d Himself, as Ramchal points out, Adam was not only brilliant, sagacious and holy, it was also true that "everything he did affected all of creation" since his presence was so momentous.

2. Yet he was destined to have been greater yet and even more exalted (if one could imagine), had he not rebelled against G‑d's wishes. In fact, had he not done that, then "everything that's destined to happen after the Resurrection of the Dead" in the future "would have come about from the first, and without (our having to experience) death," which only exists because Adam lapsed, and could have been circumvented altogether.
...Adam would have...become "immortal and impervious to wrongdoing."
So, while he was greater at the point of creation than any of us are now, he demeaned himself and failed personally. Had he not sinned, Adam would have fulfilled his great and mighty potential and would have become "immortal and impervious to wrongdoing." But he did indeed sin, and by doing so he failed to reach his potential, and wound up being lower than he'd originally been.

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