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    A corporate sin – Vayikra

    It is not only the individual who, when necessary, brings a sin-offering to God. The community as a whole can go astray and need Divine forgiveness.

    Chapter 4 of Vayikra says (verse 13), “If the whole congregation of Israel shall err… and do any of the things which the Lord commanded not to be done…”

    On Rosh HaShanah we have a section of the Musaf service which speaks of God remembering the deeds of nations and communities. Commenting on today’s sidra, Rashi utilises the Midrash to suggest that even the Great Sanhedrin is capable of sinning.

    If we move the discussion to our own much later generation, we see that even leaders can go wrong, even people who are known for their political capacity, even wise people who normally decide wisely.

    No-one – and no community – is always right. No-one can manage without submitting their thoughts, ideas and plans to the One who made us all.

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