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Leviticus 19:1 to 20:27
And God said to the Israelites: “You shall be holy, for I the Eternal your God, am holy.”
The Hebrew word for “holy” is “kadosh” whose root is” separate.” This week’s text provides the Israelites with commandments explaining how to separate from the surrounding peoples and live a life following the ways of the Eternal. [...]
Bad news for vampires …
God says: Don’t partake of blood …
The life of all flesh ——-
Of course (do I actually have to say “of course”?) the Torah prohibition isn’t about vampires. In the beginning it seemed God wanted us to be vegetarians, allowing for the consumption of meat only after the F [...]
Leviticus 16:1 to 18:30
In the text of past weeks we have learned that a person had to be “ritually pure” to take part in the community’s ritual ceremonies and offerings. However, being human, mistakes were made and every person (even the priests) became ritually impure. This week’s parsha provides rituals for atonement and redemption allowin [...]
IT STARTS WITH LEPERS …
MOVES ON TO MOLDY HOUSES …
THE REST? RATED “R” ———-
Is there a portion more difficult for a 21st century Jew who asks, “what does this mean for me today”? The haiku (sort of) summarizes the plain text of this week’s portion. But if you want some guidance in finding a deeper meaning, y [...]
Leviticus 14:1 to 15:33
The text talks about the analysis and rehabilitation process of the person with the symptoms of M’tzora (often considered to be leprosy). The process of rehabilitation acts to bring this person back into the community. In many case, we could use this type of rehabilitation today.
“The Eternal One spoke to Moses saying: [...]
Is bald beautiful?
According to the Torah
A bald man is “pure”
“If a man loses the hair of his head and become bald, he is pure. If he loses the hair on the front part of his head and becomes bald at the forehead, he is pure.”
Of course, the Torah is saying this in the context of skin afflict [...]
Leviticus 12: 1 to 13:59
Leviticus contains laws affecting the Israelites from birth to death… ranging from dietary rules to proper business relations. This week, the focus is on the treatment of new mothers and certain skin diseases. All these laws help shape the community and create a special relationship between the people and their God.
“Fire from before G-d …”
Consumes the sacrifices …
G-d’s glory revealed ——-
A “strange fire” offered …
By Nadav and Abihu …
What did that reveal? ——–
“Fire from before G-d …”
Consumes the sons of Aaron …
G-d’s anger reveal [...]
Sh’mini – (Eighth) - Leviticus 9:1 to 11:47
When multiple subjects are presented in a single parsha, they almost always have a connection. This week two topics are presented:
First – The eighth day of the Tabernacle’s dedication … a happy occasion, until the death of Aaron’s two oldest sons!
Second – The dietary laws.
I believe [...]
It’s Shabbat Zachor …
We remember Amalek …
Haman’s ancestor ——-
This week is Shabbat Zachor (Shabbat of Remembrance), one of the special Shabbatot leading up to Passover. In addition to the regular Torah portion (Tzav) we conclude with a maftir reading, Deuteronomy 25:17-19. These verses tell us to do some [...]
Tzvav – Leviticus 6:1 to 8:36
The practice of sacrificial offerings ended with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. But if we examine many of our contemporary traditions, we see that the concept of sacrificial offerings is still very relevant today.
“The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: Command Aaron and his sons thus:”
Finders keepers? No! …
Something found must be returned …
Don’t lie about it. ———
After several chapters of excruciating detail about how sacrifices are to be made, this week’s portion ends (Lev 5:20-26) with some commandments concerning dishonesty. These include … “If a person sins and [...]