Tag Archives: holiness

Acharei Mot – Kedoshim (Lev. 16:1 – 20:27)

(Comments from 2018, slightly edited. I found Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ comments, quoted at the end, particularly insightful.) This week: Sex and holiness. Acharei Mot (Lev. 16:1-18:30) is the first part of this double portion and means “after the death of,” … Continue reading

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Shemini (Lev. 9:1 – 11:47)

Ordination with a spectacular finish. Self-inflicted disaster. Kosher and unkosher animals. That’s this week’s Torah portion.  I’m currently zonked from Pesach and pandemic weirdness. But think how much worse it is for others and how still worse it could be. … Continue reading

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Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27)

(From 2016)  Last week’s Torah portion, Acharei Mot, was full of instructions for purification by means of atonement, sacrifices, and abstention from forbidden sexual contacts.  Now that everyone’s been purified and prepped, they are ready for the next stage: Holiness. … Continue reading

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Acharei Mot–Kedoshim

This week: sex and holiness. But first, a note on Lag B’Omer, which occurs next Thursday.  “Lag” is 33 using the Hebrew alphabet: lamed=30 plus gimel=3.  Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of “counting the omer” (a barley measure, now … Continue reading

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Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17)

First, here’s the answer to the bonus question from two weeks ago: Which 7 verses in the Shabbat Nachamu haftarah, Isaiah 40:1-26 occur in Handel’s Messiah? Answer: 1-4, 5, 9, and 11  The focus of this week’s Torah portion is … Continue reading

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Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23)

Good old Emor.  We run into parts of this portion 4 times a year: first and second days of Sukkot, second day of Pesach, and the regular weekly reading.  This is not surprising, because Emor includes instructions for observing the … Continue reading

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Acharei Mot – Kedoshim (Lev. 16:1 – 20:27)

I am currently working on a presentation for this coming Sunday, on how “natural” versus “man-made” items are valued in Jewish tradition and thus too mentally distracted to think a lot about atonement, forbidden sexual relationships, and holiness, the major … Continue reading

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