נפש כי תחטא בשגגה בעבור היות המחשבה בנפש והיא השוגגת הזכיר כאן נפש וטעם הקרבנות על הנפש השוגגת מפני שכל העונות יולידו גנאי בנפש והם מום בה ולא תזכה להקביל פני יוצרה רק בהיותה טהורה מכל חטא ולולי זה היו טפשי העמים זוכים לבא לפניו ולכן הנפש השוגגת תקריב קרבן שתזכה לקרבה אל האלהים אשר נתנה ובעבור זה גם כן הזכיר נפש ורבותינו דרשו (ת"כ כאן) נפש לרבות הגרים והעבדים ולא הזכיר בחטאת כהן המשיח "וכפר עליו ונסלח לו" כאשר הזכיר בשאר החוטאים בקהל ובנשיא ובהדיוט אולי לרוב מעלתו לא יתכפר ונסלח לו לגמרי עד שיתפלל ויתחנן לאלהיו כי מלאך ה' צבאות הוא וצריך להיותו נקי וטהר ידים ולא הזכיר כאן בפרים הנשרפים בהקטרת האמורים "ריח ניחוח" ולא "אשה לה'" והטעם בעבור היות מהם חלק בחוץ איננו לאשה לה' ובשעיר הנשיא הזכיר כפרה ולא הזכיר "אשה ריח ניחוח לה'" (במדבר כח ח) בעבור היות הקרבן שעיר ובחטאת היחיד הזכיר "לריח ניחוח לה'" ולא הזכיר "אשה" כי בידוע שהוא אשה כי הכונה כולה באשה לה' והמשכיל יבין: IF A SOUL SHALL SIN IN ERROR. Since the process of thinking is centered in the soul, and it is the soul which commits the error,298Up to this chapter the subjects dealt with have been the burnt-offering, the meal-offering, and the peace-offerings — all of which are voluntary and are not brought for the commission of sin. Here the subject is the sin-offering which is brought as an atonement for a certain sin committed in error. See above, Note 68. Scripture mentions here nefesh (soul). The reason for the offerings for the erring soul is that all sins [even if committed unwittingly] produce a particular “stain” upon the soul and constitute a blemish thereon, and the soul is only worthy to be received by the countenance of its Creator when it is pure of all sin. Were it not so, then all the fools of the world would be deserving to come before Him. It is for this reason that the erring soul brings an offering, through which it becomes worthy of approaching unto G-d who gave it.299Ecclesiastes 12:7. It is on account of this that Scripture mentions here nefesh (soul). Our Rabbis have interpreted:300Torath Kohanim, Vayikra Nedabah 1:1. “‘Nefesh’ (A soul) — this [word is used to] include proselytes and slaves” [thus teaching us that they too are under the obligation of bringing this offering, since the term nefesh is inclusive of them as well].
Now in the case of the sin-offering of the anointed priest [first discussed here in Verses 3-12], He does not say “and [the priest] shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven,” as He mentions in the case of other sinners — namely, the whole congregation,301Verse 20. the prince,302Verse 26. and the common man.303Verses 31 and 35. Perhaps the reason for this is that due to his great importance he cannot obtain atonement nor be forgiven completely until he prays and beseeches his G-d, for he is the messenger of the Eternal of hosts,304Malachi 2:7. and he must be of clean and pure hands [so that he can never be reproached with anything; hence in addition to the offering he must bring, he must also pray especially for forgiveness].
Scripture does not mention here, when speaking about the bulls which were to be entirely burnt,305These bulls were the sin-offering for the anointed priest (Verse 3), and that of the whole congregation of Israel (Verse 14). After their fats were burnt on the altar, these bulls were taken outside the camp and completely burnt (Verses 12 and 21). This was unlike the procedure done to the sin-offering of the prince and the common man, of which only the fats were burnt on the altar, whereas the meat was eaten by the priests (further, 6:17-23). Hence the name given to the first two categories of sin-offerings [“bulls to be entirely burnt”]. that the burning of those portions offered on the altar is “of a pleasing odor,” or that it is “a fire-offering unto the Eternal.” The reason for this is that since part of them is burnt outside [the camp of Israel], it is therefore not for “the fire unto the Eternal.” In the case of the goat of the prince [which he brings as his sin-offering],306Verse 23. He mentioned “atonement” [and the priest shall make atonement for him]307Verse 26. but did not state that it is “a fire-offering, of a pleasing odor unto the Eternal,” because the offering is a sa’ir (a goat).308This is like the sa’ir brought in case of idol worship (Numbers 15:24) (Ma’or V’shamesh). See also Ramban at the end of 3:1. In the case of the sin-offering of the common person, He mentions that it is for a pleasing odor unto the Eternal,309Verse 31. but does not mention “a fire-offering,” for it is self-understood that it is such, since the whole purpose of the fire-offering is to the Eternal. The student learned [in the mystic lore of the Cabala] will understand.