This week’s parsha starts off with a list of what you’re to bring to the priest for an offering: the young of the herd – a bull – but also some flour mixed with oil, and some wine.
Interestingly, the parsha stresses that there is to be one law for the Hebrews and the same law for the stranger (sojourner). “One instruction, one rule shall there be for you and for the sojourner that takes-up sojourn with you.” So it would seem that strangers were accepted among the Israelites right from the start.
Next in the parsha, a scale of punishment for sin is described. For one level of sin, or sin done by mistake, there are two possibilities. If it’s the whole community, they sacrifice a bull and a grain offering.
This allows the priest to pardon the whole community, including sojourners. An individual must offer a hairy goat.
Second level sins, for crimes like blasphemy, are punished by exile. And third level sins, like gathering wood on the Sabbath, are punished by being stoned to death.
The parsha ends with the instruction to put fringes (tsitsit) on your garments as a reminder to keep all the commandments of God.