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Tag Archives: Leviticus

Behar / Bechukotai – Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Behar-Bechukotai “Sowing the seed, my hand is one with the earth. …Hungry and trusting, my mind is one with the earth. Eating the fruit, my body is one with the earth.“ Wendell Berry’s poem “Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer” asks us to consider how the farmer is like the farm. Similarly, the strong language […] http://bethsholomsf.org/behar-bechukotai-leviticus-251-2734/ Continue Reading...

Emor – Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Emor This week’s reading builds upon last week’s distinction between the Priestly Torah, which focuses on the priestly views of ritual (as distinct from those of the masses), and the Holiness Code, which interweaves the priestly elements of ritual with popular customs. What further distinguishes Chapters 21 and 22 of Leviticus from the rest of the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/emor-leviticus-211-2423-2/ Continue Reading...

Acharei Mot / Kedoshim – Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_AchareiMot-Kedoshim In conversation with a Jewish artist, I recently quipped that all artists must see their art as an offering to the Other Side. “What?!,” the artist exclaimed. In order to quell the energy of the negative forces in the universe, I explained, the mystical interpretation of many rituals, especially sacrifice, is understood as a way […] http://bethsholomsf.org/acharei-mot-kedoshim-leviticus-161-2027/ Continue Reading...

Elai Levinson’s Bar Mitzvah

Thumbnail_ElaiLevinson Shalom. My name is Elai David Levinson, and I will be called up to read from the Torah as a bar mitzvah this Shabbat, May 6. I am a 7th grader at Claire Lilienthal Alternative School. During my free time, I can be found drawing, writing, editing my movies, drumming with my band, Planet 17, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/elai-levinsons-bar-mitzvah/ Continue Reading...

Tazria / Metzora – Leviticus 12:1-15:33

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Tazria-Metzora Debate still abounds as to how best translate the key terms tumah and taharah — signatures of Leviticus (see, for example, Chapter 12). Purity and impurity? Ritual fitness or exclusion? Death and rebirth? I continue to return to the inspired translation of theologian Rachel Adler, who teaches that tumah and taharah are best rendered as […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tazria-metzora-leviticus-121-1533/ Continue Reading...

Shemini – Leviticus 9:1-11:47

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Shemini You are what you eat, so they say. But more importantly, as Jews, we eat only in the context of creation. In this week’s reading, Shemini, aside from Aaron’s mysterious silence in the face of his sons’ immolation, we are drawn into the distinctions conveyed through our dietary laws. The laws of kashrut are commanded, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/shemini-leviticus-91-1147-2/ Continue Reading...

Tzav – Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Tzav Leviticus is a challenging book to absorb. On one hand, many observant Jews the world over consider the Priestly tradition (as articulated throughout Leviticus) to be obsessed with time-conditioned commands that are far removed from our lived experience today. On the other hand, thanks to the biased scholarship of Julius Wellhausen, critical readers of the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tzav-leviticus-61-836-2/ Continue Reading...

Vayikra – Leviticus 1:1-5:26

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_ParashatVayikra It was recently reported that some Bible teachers at a Californian Christian seminary cited the lack of recycling bins on campus as a pure expression of their faith – namely, that by using up resources as quickly as possible, they were hastening the coming of the Lord and the New Creation. With the rise of […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayikra-leviticus-11-526-2/ Continue Reading...

Bechukotai — Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34

Facebook_CoverDesign_Bechukotai English critic Terry Eagleton (b. 1943) once astutely remarked: “We face a conflict between civilization and culture, which used to be on the same side. Civilization means rational reflection, material well-being, individual autonomy, and ironic self-doubt; culture means a form of life that is customary, collective, passionate, spontaneous, unreflective, and irrational.“ Earning material well-being is […] http://bethsholomsf.org/bechukotai-leviticus-263-2734/ Continue Reading...

Emor — Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23

CoverDesign_Emor In a candid moment, the renowned American scholar of the Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels (b. 1943), once remarked that her research of these early religious texts taught her something interesting: “These ancient stories in religion speak to our desire. But they move us toward hope.” Where might one experience this correlation between desire and hope […] http://bethsholomsf.org/emor-leviticus-211-2423/ Continue Reading...