Torah Portion: Vayikra
a person offers a meal-offering… (Vayikra 2:1).
It is a positive commandment to process the meal-offering (Minchah) in accord with its prescribed rules, as mentioned in the various passages that address this type of offering. There are several verses written about this offering: When a person offers a meal-offering… (Vayikra 2:1); If your offering is a meal-offering on the pan etc. (ibid. v. 5); and: If your offering is a meal-offering in a deep pan etc. (v. 6).
The substance of Menachos (meal-offerings) is that it is a type of offering brought from various types of flour, but not from living creatures. This type of offering also comes to subdue one’s Inclination — when the person sees that because of his sin he was required to burn and destroy his some of his possessions. Although, in truth, its effect is not as strong as it is with offerings brought from animals, which arouse a person more [because of their similarity to human life].
The following are the various types of meal-offerings that used to be brought when the Holy Temple stood. This list includes only those types that were brought on their own [and not those brought in conjunction with other animal-offerings]:
Three meal offerings of the Community: a) The Omer on Passover; the two Loaves on Shavu’os; c) the Lechem Ha-panim loaves every Shabbos.
Nine meal offerings of the individual Jew: a) the minchah of a sinner — this is the minchah that a poor person offers when he was liable for a burnt-offering but could not afford it; b) the minchah of a Sotah; c) the minchah of a kohen who enters service for his first time — this is called “the Inauguration Minchah” d) the minchah the Kohen Gadol offers every day, known as Minchas Chavitin; e) Fine-flour-minchah which is brought either as a vow or a gift (neder or nedavah); f) the pan-minchah, brought either as a vow or a gift; g) the deep-pan minchah, brought either as a vow or a gift; h) Oven-baked minchah loaves — they are brought either as a vow or a gift; i) and Oven-baked minchah wafers, brought either as a vow or a gift.
Their general procedure is as follows: The person brings fine flour from his house in a silver or gold vessel (or any other metal), and brings it to the kohen. The Kohen takes it to the Altar and separates a small amount of the flour with the tips of his [three middle] fingers. He burns the entire threefingersful (the kometz) on the Altar, and the remainder is eaten by the kohanim.
This mitzvah of preparing the meal-offerings applies when the Holy Temple stands, to kohanim. A kohen who went against the proper procedure and altered the prescribed way of a minchah-offering violated a positive commandment.