Parashas Vayikra addresses all of the basic information regarding the korbanos. Parashas Tzav elaborates on the korbanos and the various halachos which concern the Kohanim in executing the avodas ha’korbanos, service of the sacrifices. It is interesting to note that only one korban – the Korban Todah, Thanksgiving offering, is totally omitted from Parashas Vayikra and mentioned for the first time in Parashas Tzav. Why is it mentioned for the first time in Parashas Tzav, which is addressed to the Kohanim?
Horav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, z.l., distinguishes between two levels of gratitude. He cites the Talmud in Berachos 7b which states that upon naming her son Yehudah, a name derived from hodaah, gratitude, our Matriarch Leah was setting the standard for gratitude. No person before her had ever given thanks to Hashem. Chazal’s assertion is somewhat puzzling. What about Adam HaRishon and Noach who preceded Leah with their expressions of gratitude?
The Kesav Sofer explains that while people did, indeed, offer gratitude to Hashem, even before Leah, their expressions of gratitude were offered as a result of a miraculous salvation. Leah, however, was the first person to thank Hashem for a purely natural event, such as childbirth. To perceive the miracle in everyday life is a higher form of appreciation.
Rav Yosef Chaim explains that due to their interminable devotion to Hashem, their constant exposure to the kedushah, holiness, of the Bais HaMikdash, and their relative abnegation from the more material pursuits of life, the Kohanim had a more profound spiritual sensitivity of the Divine guidance and Providence that lies in everyday occurrences. Hence, it would be they who would be the most likely to express feelings of gratitude to Hashem.