Emor

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This article is about Judaism's weekly Torah portion on the parsha of "Emor". For the Les Savy Fav EP, see Emor: Rome Upside Down.

Emor (אֱמֹרHebrew for "speak," the fifth word, and the first distinctive word, in the parashah) is the 31st weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the eighth in the book of Leviticus. It constitutes Leviticus 21:1–24:23. The parashah has the most verses (although not the most letters or words) of any of the weekly Torah portions in the book of Leviticus, and is made up of 6,106 Hebrew letters, 1,614 Hebrew words, and 124 verses and can occupy about 215 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah). (Parashah Vayikra has the most letters and words of any weekly Torah portion in Leviticus.)[1]

Jews generally read it in late April or early May. Jews also read parts of the parashah, Leviticus 22:26–23:44, as the initial Torah readings for the second day of Passover and the first and second days of Sukkot.

The parashah provides purity rules for priests (כֹּהֲנִים, Kohanim), recounts the holy days, provides for lights and bread in the sanctuary, and tells the story of a blasphemer and his punishment.

The Blasphemer (16th Century drawing by Niccolò dell'Abbate)

Readings[edit]

In traditional Sabbath Torah reading, the parashah is divided into seven readings, or עליות, aliyot.[2]

First reading — Leviticus 21:1–15[edit]

In the first reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to tell the priests these laws for the priests.[3] None were to come in contact with a dead body except for that of his closest relatives: his parent, child, brother, or virgin sister.[4] They were not to shave any part of their heads or the side-growth of their beards or gash their flesh.[5] They were not to marry a harlot or divorcee.[6] The daughter of a priest who became a harlot was to be executed.[7] The High Priest was not to bare his head or rend his vestments.[8] He was not to come near any dead body, even that of his father or mother.[9] He was to marry only a virgin of his own kin.[10]

Second reading — Leviticus 21:16–22:16[edit]

In the second reading (עליה, aliyah), no disabled priest could offer sacrifices.[11] He could eat the meat of sacrifices, but could not come near the altar.[12] No priest who had become unclean could eat the meat of sacrifices.[13] A priest could not share his sacrificial meat with lay persons, persons whom the priest had hired, or the priest’s married daughters, but the priest could share that meat with his slaves and widowed or divorced daughters, if those daughters had no children.[14]

Third reading — Leviticus 22:17–33[edit]

In the third reading (עליה, aliyah), only animals without defect qualified for sacrifice.[15]

Fourth reading — Leviticus 23:1–22[edit]

In the fourth reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to instruct the Israelites to proclaim the following sacred occasions:

  • Shabbat (Sabbath) on the seventh day[16]
  • Pesach (Passover) for 7 days beginning at twilight of the 14th day of the first month[17]
  • Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) 50 days later[18]

Fifth reading — Leviticus 23:23–32[edit]

The fifth reading (עליה, aliyah) continues the sacred occasions:

The Blasphemer Stoned (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible)

Sixth reading — Leviticus 23:33–44[edit]

In the sixth reading (עליה, aliyah), concludes the sacred occasions:

  • Sukkot (Tabernacles) for 8 days beginning on the 15th day of the seventh month[21]

Seventh reading — Leviticus 24:1–23[edit]

In the seventh reading (עליה, aliyah), God told Moses to command the Israelites to bring clear olive oil for lighting the lamps of the Tabernacle regularly, from evening to morning.[22] And God called for baking twelve loaves to be placed in the Tabernacle every Sabbath, and thereafter given to the priests, who were to eat them in the sacred precinct.[23] A man with an Israelite mother (from the tribe of Dan) and an Egyptian father got in a fight, and pronounced God’s Name in blasphemy.[24] The people brought him to Moses and placed him in custody until God’s decision should be made clear.[25] God told Moses to take the blasphemer outside the camp where all who heard him were to lay their hands upon his head, and the whole community was to stone him, and they did so.[26] God instructed that anyone who blasphemed God was to be put to death.[27] Anyone who killed any human being was to be put to death.[28] One who killed a beast was to make restitution.[29] And anyone who maimed another person was to pay proportionately (in what has been called lex talionis).[30]

Readings according to the triennial cycle[edit]

Jews who read the Torah according to the triennial cycle of Torah reading read the parashah according to the following schedule:[31]

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
2013–2014, 2016–2017, 2019–2020 . . . 2014–2015, 2017–2018, 2020–2021 . . . 2015–2016, 2018–2019, 2021–2022 . . .
Reading 21:1–22:16 22:17–23:22 23:23–24:23
1 21:1–6 22:17–20 23:23–25
2 21:7–12 22:21–25 23:26–32
3 21:13–15 22:26–33 23:33–44
4 21:16–24 23:1–3 24:1–4
5 22:1–9 23:4–8 24:5–9
6 22:10–12 23:9–14 24:10–12
7 22:13–16 23:15–22 24:13–23
Maftir 22:13–16 23:19–22 24:21–23

In ancient parallels[edit]

The parashah has parallels in these ancient sources:

Hammurabi’s Code (at The Louvre)

Leviticus chapter 24[edit]

The Code of Hammurabi contained precursors of the law of “an eye for an eye” in Leviticus 24:19–21. The Code of Hammurabi provided that if a man destroyed the eye of another man, they were to destroy his eye. If one broke a man's bone, they were to break his bone. If one destroyed the eye of a commoner or broke the bone of a commoner, he was to pay one mina of silver. If one destroyed the eye of a slave or broke a bone of a slave, he was to pay one-half the slave’s price. If a man knocked out a tooth of a man of his own rank, they were to knock out his tooth. If one knocked out a tooth of a commoner, he was to pay one-third of a mina of silver. If a man struck a man's daughter and brought about a miscarriage, he was to pay 10 shekels of silver for her miscarriage. If the woman died, they were to put the man’s daughter to death. If a man struck the daughter of a commoner and brought about a miscarriage, he was to pay five shekels of silver. If the woman died, he was to pay one-half of a mina of silver. If he struck a man’s female slave and brought about a miscarriage, he was to pay two shekels of silver. If the female slave died, he was to pay one-third of a mina of silver.[32]

In inner-Biblical interpretation[edit]

The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these Biblical sources:[33]

Leviticus chapter 21[edit]

Corpse contamination[edit]

In Leviticus 21:1–5, God instructed Moses to direct the priests not to allow themselves to become defiled by contact with the dead, except for a mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or unmarried sister. And the priests were not to engage in mourning rituals of making baldness upon their heads, shaving off the corners of their beards, or cutting their flesh. This prohibition of corpse contamination is one of a series of passages in the Hebrew Bible setting out the teaching that contact with the dead is antithetical to purity.

In Numbers 5:1–4, God instructed Moses to command the Israelites to put out of the camp every person defiled by contact with the dead, so that they would not defile their camps, in the midst of which God dwelt.

Numbers 19 sets out a procedure for a red cow mixture for decontamination from corpse contamination.

In its profession associated with tithing, Deuteronomy 26:13–14 instructed Israelites to aver that they had not eaten from the tithe in mourning, nor put away any of it while unclean, nor given any of it to the dead.

In Ezekiel 43:6–9, the prophet Ezekiel cites the burial of kings within the Temple as one of the practices that defiled the Temple and cause God to abandon it.

In the Hebrew Bible, uncleanness has a variety of associations. Leviticus 11:8, 11; 21:1–4, 11; and Numbers 6:6–7; and 19:11–16; associate it with death. And perhaps similarly, Leviticus 13–14 associates it with skin disease. Leviticus 12 associates it with childbirth. Leviticus 15 associates it with various sexuality-related events. And Jeremiah 2:7, 23; 3:2; and 7:30; and Hosea 6:10 associate it with contact with the worship of alien gods.

Leviticus chapter 23[edit]

Passover[edit]

The Search for Leaven (illustration circa 1733–1739 by Bernard Picart)

Leviticus 23:4–8 refers to the Festival of Passover. In the Hebrew Bible, Passover is called:

  • “Passover” (פֶּסַח, Pesach);[34]
  • “The Feast of Unleavened Bread” (חַג הַמַּצּוֹת, Chag haMatzot);[35] and
  • “A holy convocation” or “a solemn assembly.” (מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, mikrah kodesh)[36]

Some explain the double nomenclature of “Passover” and “Feast of Unleavened Bread” as referring to two separate feasts that the Israelites combined sometime between the Exodus and when the Biblical text became settled.[37] Exodus 34:18–20 and Deuteronomy 15:19–16:8 indicate that the dedication of the firstborn also became associated with the festival.

The Passover Seder of the Portuguese Jews (illustration circa 1733–1739 by Bernard Picart)

Some believe that the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” was an agricultural festival at which the Israelites celebrated the beginning of the grain harvest. Moses may have had this festival in mind when in Exodus 5:1 and 10:9 he petitioned Pharaoh to let the Israelites go to celebrate a feast in the wilderness.[38]

“Passover,” on the other hand, was associated with a thanksgiving sacrifice of a lamb, also called “the Passover,” “the Passover lamb,” or “the Passover offering.”[39]

Exodus 12:5–6, Leviticus 23:5, and Numbers 9:3 and 5, and 28:16 direct “Passover” to take place on the evening of the fourteenth of Aviv (Nisan in the Hebrew calendar after the Babylonian captivity). Joshua 5:10, Ezekiel 45:21, Ezra 6:19, and 2 Chronicles 35:1 confirm that practice. Exodus 12:18–19, 23:15, and 34:18, Leviticus 23:6, and Ezekiel 45:21 direct the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” to take place over seven days and Leviticus 23:6 and Ezekiel 45:21 direct that it begin on the fifteenth of the month. Some believe that the propinquity of the dates of the two festivals led to their confusion and merger.[38]

Exodus 12:23 and 27 link the word “Passover” (פֶּסַח, Pesach) to God’s act to “pass over” (פָסַח, pasach) the Israelites’ houses in the plague of the firstborn. In the Torah, the consolidated Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread thus commemorate the Israelites’ liberation from Egypt.[40]

The Hebrew Bible frequently notes the Israelites’ observance of Passover at turning points in their history. Numbers 9:1–5 reports God’s direction to the Israelites to observe Passover in the wilderness of Sinai on the anniversary of their liberation from Egypt. Joshua 5:10–11 reports that upon entering the Promised Land, the Israelites kept the Passover on the plains of Jericho and ate unleavened cakes and parched corn, produce of the land, the next day. 2 Kings 23:21–23 reports that King Josiah commanded the Israelites to keep the Passover in Jerusalem as part of Josiah’s reforms, but also notes that the Israelites had not kept such a Passover from the days of the Biblical judges nor in all the days of the kings of Israel or the kings of Judah, calling into question the observance of even Kings David and Solomon. The more reverent 2 Chronicles 8:12–13, however, reports that Solomon offered sacrifices on the festivals, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And 2 Chronicles 30:1–27 reports King Hezekiah’s observance of a second Passover anew, as sufficient numbers of neither the priests nor the people were prepared to do so before then. And Ezra 6:19–22 reports that the Israelites returned from the Babylonian captivity observed Passover, ate the Passover lamb, and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy.

offering of first fruits (illustration from a Bible card published between 1896 and 1913 by the Providence Lithograph Company)

Shavuot[edit]

Leviticus 23:15–21 refers to the Festival of Shavuot. In the Hebrew Bible, Shavuot is called:

  • The Feast of Weeks (חַג שָׁבֻעֹת, Chag Shavuot);[41]
  • The Day of the First-fruits (יוֹם הַבִּכּוּרִים, Yom haBikurim);[42]
  • The Feast of Harvest (חַג הַקָּצִיר, Chag haKatzir);[43] and
  • A holy convocation (מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, mikrah kodesh).[44]

Exodus 34:22 associates Shavuot with the first-fruits (בִּכּוּרֵי, bikurei) of the wheat harvest.[45] In turn, Deuteronomy 26:1–11 set out the ceremony for the bringing of the first fruits.

To arrive at the correct date, Leviticus 23:15 instructs counting seven weeks from the day after the day of rest of Passover, the day that they brought the sheaf of barley for waving. Similarly, Deuteronomy 16:9 directs counting seven weeks from when they first put the sickle to the standing barley.

Leviticus 23:16–19 sets out a course of offerings for the fiftieth day, including a meal-offering of two loaves made from fine flour from the first-fruits of the harvest; burnt-offerings of seven lambs, one bullock, and two rams; a sin-offering of a goat; and a peace-offering of two lambs. Similarly, Numbers 28:26–30 sets out a course of offerings including a meal-offering; burnt-offerings of two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs; and one goat to make atonement. Deuteronomy 16:10 directs a freewill-offering in relation to God’s blessing.

Leviticus 23:21 and Numbers 28:26 ordain a holy convocation in which the Israelites were not to work.

2 Chronicles 8:13 reports that Solomon offered burnt-offerings on the Feast of Weeks.

Blowing the Shofar (illustration from the 1894 Treasures of the Bible)

Rosh Hashanah[edit]

Levitcus 23:23–25 refers to the Festival of Rosh Hashanah. In the Hebrew Bible, Rosh Hashanah is called:

  • a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns (זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה, Zichron Teruah);[46]
  • a day of blowing the horn (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה, Yom Teruah);[47] and
  • a holy convocation (מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, mikrah kodesh)[48]
The Sounding of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah (illustration circa 1733–1739 by Bernard Picart)

Although Exodus 12:2 instructs that the spring month of Aviv (since the Babylonian captivity called Nisan) “shall be the first month of the year,” Exodus 23:16 and 34:22 also reflect an “end of the year” or a "turn of the year" in the autumn harvest month of Tishrei.

Levitcus 23:23–25 and Numbers 29:1–6 both describe Rosh Hashanah as an holy convocation, a day of solemn rest in which no servile work is to be done, involving the blowing of horns and an offering to God.

Ezekiel 40:1 speaks of "in the beginning of the year" (בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, b’Rosh HaShanah) in Tishrei, although the Rabbis traditional interpreted Ezekiel to refer to Yom Kippur.

Ezra 3:1–3 reports that in the Persian era, when the seventh month came, the Israelites gathered together in Jerusalem, and the priests offered burnt-offerings to God, morning and evening, as written in the Law of Moses.

Nehemiah 8:1–4 reports that it was on Rosh Hashanah (the first day of the seventh month) that all the Israelites gathered together before the water gate and Ezra the scribe read the Law from early morning until midday. And Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites told the people that the day was holy to the Lord their God; they should neither mourn nor weep; but they should go their way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those who had nothing.[49]

Psalm 81:4–5 likely refers to Rosh Hashanah when it enjoins, "Blow the horn at the new moon, at the full moon of our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob."

Yom Kippur[edit]

Levitcus 23:26–32 refers to the Festival of Yom Kippur. In the Hebrew Bible, Yom Kippur is called:

  • the Day of Atonement (יוֹם הַכִּפֻּרִים, Yom HaKippurim)[50] or a Day of Atonement (יוֹם כִּפֻּרִים, Yom Kippurim);[51]
  • a Sabbath of solemn rest (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן, Shabbat Shabbaton);[52] and
  • a holy convocation (מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, mikrah kodesh).[53]

Much as Yom Kippur, on the 10th of the month of Tishrei, precedes the Festival of Sukkot, on the 15th of the month of Tishrei, Exodus 12:3–6 speaks of a period starting on the 10th of the month of Nisan preparatory to the Festival of Passover, on the 15th of the month of Nisan.

Day of Atonement (painting circa 1900 by Isidor Kaufmann)

Levitcus 16:29–34 and 23:26–32 and Numbers 29:7–11 present similar injunctions to observe Yom Kippur. Levitcus 16:29 and 23:27 and Numbers 29:7 set the Holy Day on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishrei). Levitcus 16:29 and 23:27 and Numbers 29:7 instruct that “you shall afflict your souls.” Levitcus 23:32 makes clear that a full day is intended: “you shall afflict your souls; in the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening.” And Levitcus 23:29 threatens that whoever “shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from his people.” Levitcus 16:29 and Levitcus 23:28 and Numbers 29:7 command that you “shall do no manner of work.” Similarly, Levitcus 16:31 and 23:32 call it a “Sabbath of solemn rest.” And in 23:30, God threatens that whoever “does any manner of work in that same day, that soul will I destroy from among his people.” Levitcus 16:30, 16:32–34, and 23:27–28, and Numbers 29:11 describe the purpose of the day to make atonement for the people. Similarly, Levitcus 16:30 speaks of the purpose “to cleanse you from all your sins,” and Levitcus 16:33 speaks of making atonement for the most holy place, the tent of meeting, the altar; and the priests. Levitcus 16:29 instructs that the commandment applies both to “the home-born” and to “the stranger who sojourns among you.” Levitcus 16:3–25 and 23:27 and Numbers 29:8–11 command offerings to God. And Levitcus 16:31 and 23:31 institute the observance as “a statute forever.”

Levitcus 16:3–28 sets out detailed procedures for the priest’s atonement ritual during the time of the Temple.

Levitcus 25:8–10 instructs that after seven Sabbatical years, on the Jubilee year, on the day of atonement, the Israelites were to proclaim liberty throughout the land with the blast of the horn and return every man to his possession and to his family.

In Isaiah 57:14–58:14, the Haftarah for Yom Kippur morning, God describes “the fast that I have chosen [on] the day for a man to afflict his soul.” Isaiah 58:3–5 make clear that “to afflict the soul” was understood as fasting. But Isaiah 58:6–10 goes on to impress that “to afflict the soul,” God also seeks acts of social justice: “to loose the fetters of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke,” “to let the oppressed go free,” “to give your bread to the hungry, and . . . bring the poor that are cast out to your house,” and “when you see the naked, that you cover him.”

Eating in a Sukkah (1723 engraving by Bernard Picart)

Sukkot[edit]

And Leviticus 23:33–42 refers to the Festival of Sukkot. In the Hebrew Bible, Sukkot is called:

  • “The Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths)”;[54]
  • “The Feast of Ingathering”;[55]
  • “The Feast” or “the festival”;[56]
  • “The Feast of the Lord”;[57]
  • “The festival of the seventh month”;[58] and
  • “A holy convocation” or “a sacred occasion” (מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, mikrah kodesh).[59]

Sukkot’s agricultural origin is evident from the name "The Feast of Ingathering," from the ceremonies accompanying it, and from the season and occasion of its celebration: "At the end of the year when you gather in your labors out of the field";[60] "after you have gathered in from your threshing-floor and from your winepress."[61] It was a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest.[62] And in what may explain the festival’s name, Isaiah reports that grape harvesters kept booths in their vineyards.[63] Coming as it did at the completion of the harvest, Sukkot was regarded as a general thanksgiving for the bounty of nature in the year that had passed.

Celebrating Sukkot with the Four Species (painting circa 1894–1895 by Leopold Pilichowski)

Sukkot became one of the most important feasts in Judaism, as indicated by its designation as “the Feast of the Lord”[64] or simply “the Feast.”[56] Perhaps because of its wide attendance, Sukkot became the appropriate time for important state ceremonies. Moses instructed the children of Israel to gather for a reading of the Law during Sukkot every seventh year.[65] King Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem on Sukkot.[66] And Sukkot was the first sacred occasion observed after the resumption of sacrifices in Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.[67]

Sephardic Jews Observe Hoshanah Rabbah (engraving circa 1723–1743 by Bernard Picart)

In the time of Nehemiah, after the Babylonian captivity, the Israelites celebrated Sukkot by making and dwelling in booths, a practice of which Nehemiah reports: “the Israelites had not done so from the days of Joshua.”[68] In a practice related to that of the Four Species, Nehemiah also reports that the Israelites found in the Law the commandment that they “go out to the mountains and bring leafy branches of olive trees, pine trees, myrtles, palms and [other] leafy trees to make booths.”[69] In Leviticus 23:40, God told Moses to command the people: “On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook,” and “You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.”[70] The book of Numbers, however, indicates that while in the wilderness, the Israelites dwelt in tents.[71] Some secular scholars consider Leviticus 23:39–43 (the commandments regarding booths and the four species) to be an insertion by a late redactor.[72]

Jeroboam son of Nebat, King of the northern Kingdom of Israel, whom 1 Kings 13:33 describes as practicing “his evil way,” celebrated a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, one month after Sukkot, “in imitation of the festival in Judah.”[73] “While Jeroboam was standing on the altar to present the offering, the man of God, at the command of the Lord, cried out against the altar” in disapproval.[74]

According to the prophet Zechariah, in the messianic era, Sukkot will become a universal festival, and all nations will make pilgrimages annually to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast there.[75]

Leviticus chapter 24[edit]

An eye for an eye[edit]

In three separate places — Exodus 21:22–25; Leviticus 24:19–21; and Deuteronomy 19:16–21 — the Torah sets forth the law of “an eye for an eye.”

In classical rabbinic interpretation[edit]

The parashah is discussed in these rabbinic sources from the era of the Mishnah and the Talmud:

Leviticus chapter 21[edit]

Rabbi Tanhum son of Rabbi Hannilai taught that Leviticus 21 was one of two sections in the Torah (along with Numbers 19, on the Red Cow) that Moses gave us in writing that are both pure, dealing with the law of purity. Rabbi Tanhum taught that they were given on account of the tribe of Levi, of whom it is written (in Malachi 3:3), “he [God’s messenger] shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them.”[76]

The Gemara noted the apparently superfluous “say to them” in Leviticus 21:1 and reported an interpretation that the language meant that adult Kohanim must warn their children away from becoming contaminated by contact with a corpse. But then the Gemara stated that the correct interpretation was that the language meant to warn adults to avoid contaminating the children through their own contact.[77] And a Midrash explained the apparent redundancy by teaching that the first expression of “speak” was intended to intimate that a priest may defile himself on account of an unattended corpse (met mitzvah), while the second expression “say” was intended to intimate that he may not defile himself on account of any other corpse.[78]

The Mishnah taught that the commandment of Leviticus 21:1 for Kohanim not to become ritually impure for the dead is one of only three exceptions to the general rule that every commandment that is a prohibition (whether time-dependent or not) governs both men and women. The other exceptions are the commandments of Leviticus 19:27 not to round off the side-growth of one’s head and not to destroy the corners of one’s beard.[79]

The Mishnah employed the prohibitions of Leviticus 21:1 and 23:7 to imagine how one could with one action violate up to nine separate commandments. One could (1) plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together (in violation of Deuteronomy 22:10) (2 and 3) that are two animals dedicated to the sanctuary, (4) plowing mixed seeds sown in a vineyard (in violation of Deuteronomy 22:9), (5) during a Sabbatical year (in violation of Leviticus 25:4), (6) on a Festival-day (in violation of, for example, Leviticus 23:7), (7) when the plower is a priest (in violation of Leviticus 21:1) and (8) a Nazirite (in violation of Numbers 6:6) plowing in a contaminated place. Chananya ben Chachinai said that the plower also may have been wearing a garment of wool and linen (in violation of Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11). They said to him that this would not be in the same category as the other violations. He replied that neither is the Nazirite in the same category as the other violations.[80]

The Gemara taught that where Leviticus 21:1–2 prohibited the priest from defiling himself by contact with the dead “except for his flesh, that is near to him” the words “his flesh” meant to include his wife in the exception.[81]

The Mishnah interpreted Leviticus 21:7 to teach that both acting and retired High Priests had to marry a virgin and were forbidden to marry a widow. And the Mishnah interpreted Leviticus 21:1–6 to teach that both could not defile themselves for the dead bodies of their relatives, could not let their hair grow wild in mourning, and could not rend their clothes as other Jews did in mourning.[82] The Mishnah taught that while an ordinary priest in mourning rent his garments from above, a High Priest rent his garments from below. And the Mishnah taught that on the day of a close relative’s death, the High Priest could still offer sacrifices but could not eat of the sacrificial meat, while under those circumstances an ordinary priest could neither offer sacrifices nor eat sacrificial meat.[83]

Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba cited Leviticus 21:8 to support the proposition that a Kohen should be called up first to read the law, for the verse taught to give Kohanim precedence in every matter of sanctity. And a Baraita was taught in the school of Rabbi Ishmael that Leviticus 21:8 meant that Jews should give Kohanim precedence in every matter of sanctity, including speaking first at every assembly, saying grace first, and choosing his portion first when an item was to be divided.[84] The Mishnah recognized the status of the Kohanim over Levites, Levites over Israelites, and Israelites over those born from forbidden relationships, but only when they were equal in all other respects. The Mishnah taught that a learned child of forbidden parents took precedence over an ignorant High Priest.[85]

The Gemara interpreted the law of the Kohen’s adulterous daughter in Leviticus 21:9 in Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 49b–52a.[86]

Interpreting the words “the priest that is highest among his brethren” in Leviticus 21:10, a Midrash taught that the High Priest was superior in five things: wisdom, strength, beauty, wealth, and age.[87]

The Sifre compared the prohibition of a nazirite having contact with dead bodies in Numbers 6:6–7 with the similar prohibition of a High Priest having contact with dead bodies in Leviticus 21:11. And the Sifre reasoned that just as the High Priest was required nonetheless to become unclean to see to the burial of a neglected corpse (met mitzvah), so too was the nazirite required to become unclean to see to the burial of a neglected corpse.[88]

Rabbi said that a priest with a blemish within the meaning of Leviticus 21:20 who officiated at services in the Sanctuary was liable to death at the hands of Heaven, but the Sages maintained that he was merely prohibited.[89]

position of the Kohen's hands during the priestly blessing

The Mishnah taught that a priest whose hands were deformed should not lift up his hands to say the priestly blessing, and Rabbi Judah said that a priest whose hands were discolored should not lift up his hands, because it would cause the congregation to look at him during this blessing when they should not.[90] A Baraita stated that deformities on the face, hands, or feet were disqualifying for saying the priestly blessing. Rabbi Joshua ben Levi said that a Kohen with spotted hands should not say the blessing. A Baraita taught that one whose hands were curved inwards or bent sideways should not say the blessing. And Rav Huna said that a man whose eyes ran should not say the blessing. But the Gemara noted that such a Kohen in Rav Huna’s neighborhood used to say the priestly blessing and apparently even Rav Huna did not object, because the townspeople had become accustomed to the Kohen. And the Gemara cited a Baraita that taught that a man whose eyes ran should not lift up his hands, but he was permitted to do so if the townspeople were accustomed to him. Rabbi Johanan said that a man blind in one eye should not lift up his hands. But the Gemara noted that there was one in Rabbi Johanan’s neighborhood who used to lift up his hands, as the townspeople were accustomed to him. And the Gemara cited a Baraita that taught that a man blind in one eye should not lift up his hands, but if the townspeople were accustomed to him, he was permitted. Rabbi Judah said that a man whose hands were discolored should not lift up his hands, but the Gemara cited a Baraita that taught that if most of the men of the town follow the same hand-discoloring occupation, it was permitted.[91]

Rav Ashi deduced from Leviticus 21:20 that arrogance constitutes a blemish.[92]

Leviticus chapter 22[edit]

The Mishnah reported that when a priest performed the service while unclean in violation of Leviticus 22:3, his brother priests did not charge him before the bet din, but the young priests took him out of the Temple court and split his skull with clubs.[93]

The Mishnah taught that a vow-offering, as in Leviticus 22:18, was when one said, “It is incumbent upon me to bring a burnt-offering” (without specifying a particular animal). And a freewill-offering was when one said, “This animal shall serve as a burnt-offering” (specifying a particular animal). In the case of vow offerings, one was responsible for replacement of the animal if the animal died or was stolen; but in the case of freewill obligations, one was not held responsible for the animal’s replacement if the specified animal died or was stolen.[94]

A Baraita interpreted the words “there shall be no blemish therein” in Leviticus 22:21 to forbid causing a blemish in a sacrificial animal even indirectly.[95]

Ben Zoma interpreted the words “neither shall you do this in your land” in Leviticus 22:24 to forbid castrating even a dog (an animal that one could never offer as a sacrifice).[96]

Roman shoes (20th century drawing published by Pearson Scott Foresman)

Interpreting what constitutes profanation of God’s Name within the meaning of Leviticus 22:32, Rabbi Johanan said in the name of Rabbi Simeon ben Jehozadak that by a majority vote, it was resolved in the attic of the house of Nitzah in Lydda that if a person is directed to transgress a commandment in order to avoid being killed, the person may transgress any commandment of the Torah to stay alive except idolatry, prohibited sexual relations, and murder. With regard to idolatry, the Gemara asked whether one could commit it to save one’s life, as it was taught in a Baraita that Rabbi Ishmael said that if a person is directed to engage in idolatry in order to avoid being killed, the person should do so, and stay alive. Rabbi Ishmael taught that we learn this from Leviticus 18:5, “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, which if a man do, he shall live in them,” which means that a person should not die by them. From this, one might think that a person could openly engage in idolatry in order to avoid being killed, but this is not so, as Leviticus 22:32 teaches, “Neither shall you profane My holy Name; but I will be hallowed.” When Rav Dimi came from the Land of Israel to Babylonia, he taught that the rule that one may violate any commandment except idolatry, prohibited sexual relations, and murder to stay alive applied only when there is no royal decree forbidding the practice of Judaism. But Rav Dimi taught that if there is such a decree, one must incur martyrdom rather than transgress even a minor precept. When Ravin came, he said in Rabbi Johanan's name that even absent such a decree, one was allowed to violate a commandment to stay alive only in private; but in public one needed to be martyred rather than violate even a minor precept. Rava bar Rav Isaac said in Rav’s name that in this context one should choose martyrdom rather than violate a commandment even to change a shoe strap. Rabbi Jacob said in Rabbi Johanan's name that the minimum number of people for an act to be considered public is ten. And the Gemara taught that ten Jews are required for the event to be public, for Leviticus 22:32 says, “I will be hallowed among the children of Israel.”[97]

The Gemara further interpreted what constitutes profanation of God’s Name within the meaning of Leviticus 22:32. Rav said that it would profane God’s Name if a Torah scholar took meat from a butcher without paying promptly. Abaye said that this would profane God’s Name only in a place where vendors did not have a custom of going out to collect payment from their customers. Rabbi Johanan said that it would profane God’s Name if a Torah scholar walked six feet without either contemplating Torah or wearing tefillin. Isaac of the School of Rabbi Jannai said that it would profane God’s Name if one’s bad reputation caused colleagues to become ashamed. Rav Nahman bar Isaac said that an example of this would be where people called on God to forgive so-and-so. Abaye interpreted the words “and you shall love the Lord your God” in Deuteronomy 6:5 to teach that one should strive through one’s actions to cause others to love the Name of Heaven. So that if people see that those who study Torah and Mishnah are honest in business and speak pleasantly, then they will accord honor to the Name of God. But if people see that those who study Torah and Mishnah are dishonest in business and discourteous, then they will associate their shortcomings with their being Torah scholars.[98]

The Punishment of Korah’s Congregation (woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld from the 1860 Die Bibel in Bildern)

Rav Adda bar Abahah taught that a person praying alone does not say the Sanctification (Kedushah) prayer (which includes the words from Isaiah 6:3: קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת; מְלֹא כָל-הָאָרֶץ, כְּבוֹדוֹ, Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh, Adonai Tz'vaot melo kol haaretz kevodo, “Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord of Hosts, the entire world is filled with God’s Glory”), because Leviticus 22:32 says: “I will be hallowed among the children of Israel,” and thus sanctification requires ten people (a minyan). Rabinai the brother of Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba taught that we derive this by drawing an analogy between the two occurrences of the word “among” (תּוֹךְ, toch) in Leviticus 22:32 (“I will be hallowed among the children of Israel”) and in Numbers 16:21, in which God tells Moses and Aaron: “Separate yourselves from among this congregation,” referring to Korah and his followers. Just as Numbers 16:21, which refers to a congregation, implies a number of at least ten, so Leviticus 22:32 implies at least ten.[99]

Leviticus chapter 23[edit]

Tractate Shabbat in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Sabbath in Exodus 16:23 and 29; 20:7–10 (20:8–11 in the NJPS); 23:12; 31:13–17; 35:2–3; Leviticus 19:3; 23:3; Numbers 15:32–36; and Deuteronomy 5:11 (5:12 in the NJPS).[100]

The Mishnah taught that every act that violates the law of the Sabbath also violates the law of a festival, except that one may prepare food on a festival but not on the Sabbath.[101] And the Sifra taught that mention of the Sabbath in Leviticus 23:3 immediately precedes mention of the Festivals in Leviticus 23:4–43 to show that whoever profanes the Festivals is regarded as having profaned the Sabbath, and whoever honors the Festivals is regarded as having honored both the Sabbath and the Festivals.[102]

Tractate Beitzah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws common to all of the Festivals in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 23:16; 34:18–23; Leviticus 16; 23:4–43; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16–30:1; and Deuteronomy 16:1–17; 31:10–13.[103]

Tractate Pesachim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Passover (פֶּסַח, Pesach) in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 23:15; 34:25; Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16–25; and Deuteronomy 16:1–8.[104]

The Gemara noted that in listing the several festivals in Exodus 23:15, Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 28:16, and Deuteronomy 16:1, the Torah always begins with Passover.[105]

The Mishnah noted differences between the first Passover in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 23:15; 34:25; Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16–25; and Deuteronomy 16:1–8. and the second Passover in Numbers 9:9–13. The Mishnah taught that the prohibitions of Exodus 12:19 that “seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses” and of Exodus 13:7 that “no leaven shall be seen in all your territory” applied to the first Passover; while at the second Passover, one could have both leavened and unleavened bread in one’s house. And the Mishnah taught that for the first Passover, one was required to recite the Hallel (Psalms 113–118) when the Passover lamb was eaten; while the second Passover did not require the reciting of Hallel when the Passover lamb was eaten. But both the first and second Passovers required the reciting of Hallel when the Passover lambs were offered, and both Passover lambs were eaten roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. And both the first and second Passovers took precedence over the Sabbath.[106]

Tractate Peah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud interpreted the laws of the harvest of the corner of the field and gleanings to be given to the poor in Leviticus 19:9–10 and 23:22, and Deuteronomy 24:19–21.[107]

The Mishnah taught that the Torah defines no minimum or maximum for the donation of the corners of one’s field to the poor.[108] But the Mishnah also taught that one should not make the amount left to the poor less than one-sixtieth of the entire crop. And even though no definite amount is given, the amount given should accord with the size of the field, the number of poor people, and the extent of the yield.[109]

Rabbi Eliezer taught that one who cultivates land in which one can plant a quarter kav of seed is obligated to give a corner to the poor. Rabbi Joshua said land that yields two seah of grain. Rabbi Tarfon said land of at least six handbreadths by six handbreadths. Rabbi Judah ben Betera said land that requires two strokes of a sickle to harvest, and the law is as he spoke. Rabbi Akiva said that one who cultivates land of any size is obligated to give a corner to the poor and the first fruits.[110]

The Mishnah taught that the poor could enter a field to collect three times a day — in the morning, at midday, and in the afternoon. Rabban Gamliel taught that they said this only so that landowners should not reduce the number of times that the poor could enter. Rabbi Akiva taught that they said this only so that landowners should not increase the number of times that the poor had to enter. The landowners of Beit Namer used to harvest along a rope and allowed the poor to collect a corner from every row.[111]

The Mishnah taught that if a wife foreswore all benefit from other people, her husband could not annul his wife’s vow, but she could still benefit from the gleanings, forgotten sheaves, and the corner of the field that Leviticus 19:9–10 and 23:22, and Deuteronomy 24:19–21 commanded farmers to leave for the poor.[112]

Tractate Rosh Hashanah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of Rosh Hashanah in Leviticus 23:23–25 and Numbers 29:1–6.[113]

The Mishnah taught that Divine judgment is passed on the world at four seasons (based on the world’s actions in the preceding year) — at Passover for produce; at Shavuot for fruit; at Rosh Hashanah all creatures pass before God like children of maron (one by one), as Psalm 33:15 says, “He Who fashions the heart of them all, Who considers all their doings.” And on Sukkot, judgment is passed in regard to rain.[114]

Rabbi Meir taught that all are judged on Rosh Hashanah and the decree is sealed on Yom Kippur. Rabbi Judah, however, taught that all are judged on Rosh Hashanah and the decree of each and every one of them is sealed in its own time — at Passover for grain, at Shavuot for fruits of the orchard, at Sukkot for water. And the decree of humankind is sealed on Yom Kippur. Rabbi Jose taught that humankind is judged every single day, as Job 7:17–18 says, “What is man, that You should magnify him, and that You should set Your heart upon him, and that You should remember him every morning, and try him every moment?”[115]

Rav Kruspedai said in the name of Rabbi Johanan that on Rosh Hashanah, three books are opened in Heaven — one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the thoroughly righteous, and one for those in between. The thoroughly righteous are immediately inscribed definitively in the book of life. The thoroughly wicked are immediately inscribed definitively in the book of death. And the fate of those in between is suspended from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. If they deserve well, then they are inscribed in the book of life; if they do not deserve well, then they are inscribed in the book of death. Rabbi Abin said that Psalm 69:29 tells us this when it says, “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” “Let them be blotted out from the book” refers to the book of the wicked. “Of the living” refers to the book of the righteous. “And not be written with the righteous” refers to the book of those in between. Rav Nahman bar Isaac derived this from Exodus 32:32, where Moses told God, “if not, blot me, I pray, out of Your book that You have written.” “Blot me, I pray” refers to the book of the wicked. “Out of Your book” refers to the book of the righteous. “That you have written” refers to the book of those in between. It was taught in a Baraita that the House of Shammai said that there will be three groups at the Day of Judgment — one of thoroughly righteous, one of thoroughly wicked, and one of those in between. The thoroughly righteous will immediately be inscribed definitively as entitled to everlasting life; the thoroughly wicked will immediately be inscribed definitively as doomed to Gehinnom, as Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of them who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence.” Those in between will go down to Gehinnom and scream and rise again, as Zechariah 13:9 says, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My name and I will answer them.” Of them, Hannah said in 1 Samuel 2:6, “The Lord kills and makes alive, He brings down to the grave and brings up.” The House of Hillel, however, taught that God inclines the scales towards grace (so that those in between do not have to descend to Gehinnom), and of them David said in Psalm 116:1–3, “I love that the Lord should hear my voice and my supplication . . . The cords of death compassed me, and the straits of the netherworld got hold upon me,” and on their behalf David composed the conclusion of Psalm 116:6, “I was brought low and He saved me.”[116]

A Baraita taught that on Rosh Hashanah, God remembered each of Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah and decreed that they would bear children. Rabbi Eliezer found support for the Baraita from the parallel use of the word “remember” in Genesis 30:22, which says about Rachel, “And God remembered Rachel,” and in Leviticus 23:24, which calls Rosh Hashanah “a remembrance of the blast of the trumpet.”[117]

A Shofar

Rabbi Joshua son of Korchah taught that Moses stayed on Mount Sinai 40 days and 40 nights, reading the Written Law by day, and studying the Oral Law by night. After those 40 days, on the 17th of Tammuz, Moses took the Tablets of the Law, descended into the camp, broke the Tablets in pieces, and killed the Israelite sinners. Moses then spent 40 days in the camp, until he had burned the Golden Calf, ground it into powder like the dust of the earth, destroyed the idol worship from among the Israelites, and put every tribe in its place. And on the New Moon (ראש חודש, Rosh Chodesh) of Elul (the month before Rosh Hashanah), God told Moses in Exodus 24:12: “Come up to Me on the mount,” and let them sound the shofar throughout the camp, for, behold, Moses has ascended the mount, so that they do not go astray again after the worship of idols. God was exalted with that shofar, as Psalm 47:5 says, “God is exalted with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.” Therefore the Sages instituted that the shofar should be sounded on the New Moon of Elul every year.[118]

Tractate Yoma in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of Yom Kippur in Leviticus 16 and 23:26–32 and Numbers 29:7–11.[119]

Rabbi Akiva taught that because Leviticus 23:27 says, “the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement,” and Leviticus 23:32 says, “It shall be to you a Sabbath,” whenever Yom Kippur coincides with a Sabbath, whoever unwittingly performs work is liable for violating both Yom Kippur and the Sabbath. But Rabbi Ishmael said that such a person is liable on only a single count.[120]

A sukkah in medieval Italy (1374 manuscript illustration at the British Library)

Rav Mana of Sha'ab (in Galilee) and Rav Joshua of Siknin in the name of Rav Levi compared repentance at the High Holidays to the case of a province that owed arrears on its taxes to the king, and the king came to collect the debt. When the king was within ten miles, the nobility of the province came out and praised him, so he freed the province of a third of its debt. When he was within five miles, the middle-class people of the province came out and praised him, so he freed the province of another third of its debt. When he entered the province, all the people of the province — men, women, and children — came out and praised him, so he freed them of all of their debt. The king told them to let bygones be bygones; from then on they would start a new account. In a similar manner, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the leaders of the generation fast, and God absolves them of a third of their iniquities. From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, private individuals fast, and God absolves them of a third of their iniquities. On Yom Kippur, everyone fasts — men, women and children — and God tells Israel to let bygones be bygones; from then onwards we begin a new account. From Yom Kippur to Sukkot, all Israel are busy with the performance of religious duties. One is busy with a sukkah, one with a lulav. On the first day of Sukkot, all Israel stand in the presence of God with their palm-branches and etrogs in honor of God's name, and God tells them to let bygones be bygones; from now we begin a new account. Thus in Levitcus 23:40, Moses exhorts Israel: "You shall take on the first day [of Sukkot] the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God." Rabbi Aha explained that the words, "For with You there is forgiveness," in Psalm 130:4signify that forgiveness waits with God from Rosh Hashanah onward. And forgiveness waits that long so (in the words of Psalm 130:4) "that You may be feared" and God may impose God's awe upon God’s creatures (through the suspense and uncertainty).[121]

A sukkah in 1933 Berlin (photograph from the German Federal Archives)

Tractate Sukkah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of Sukkot in Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:33–43; Numbers 29:12–34; and Deuteronomy 16:13–17; 31:10–13.[122]

The Mishnah taught that a sukkah can be no more than 20 cubits high. Rabbi Judah, however, declared taller sukkot valid. The Mishnah taught that a sukkah must be at least 10 handbreadths high, have three walls, and have more shade than sun.[123] The House of Shammai declared invalid a sukkah made 30 days or more before the festival, but the House of Hillel pronounced it valid. The Mishnah taught that if one made the sukkah for the purpose of the festival, even at the beginning of the year, it is valid.[124]

A city of sukkot in 2006 Jerusalem (photograph by Effi B.)

The Mishnah taught that a sukkah under a tree is as invalid as a sukkah within a house. If one sukkah is erected above another, the upper one is valid, but the lower is invalid. Rabbi Judah said that if there are no occupants in the upper one, then the lower one is valid.[125]

It invalidates a sukkah to spread a sheet over the sukkah because of the sun, or beneath it because of falling leaves, or over the frame of a four-post bed. One may spread a sheet, however, over the frame of a two-post bed.[126]

It is not valid to train a vine, gourd, or ivy to cover a sukkah and then cover it with sukkah covering (s’chach). If, however, the sukkah-covering exceeds the vine, gourd, or ivy in quantity, or if the vine, gourd, or ivy is detached, it is valid. The general rule is that one may not use for sukkah-covering anything that is susceptible to ritual impurity (tumah) or that does not grow from the soil. But one may use for sukkah-covering anything not susceptible to ritual impurity that grows from the soil.[127]

Bundles of straw, wood, or brushwood may not serve as sukkah-covering. But any of them, if they are untied, are valid. All materials are valid for the walls.[128]

Rabbi Judah taught that one may use planks for the sukkah-covering, but Rabbi Meir taught that one may not. The Mishnah taught that it is valid to place a plank four handbreadths wide over the sukkah, provided that one does not sleep under it.[129]

The Blasphemer (ink and watercolor circa 1800 by William Blake)

Leviticus chapter 24[edit]

The Gemara cited the case of the blasphemer in Leviticus 24:11–16 to support the proposition that assailants are incarcerated until the results of their attacks are known. For the Gemara taught that Rabbi Nehemiah would argue that the Israelites imprisoned the blasphemer (in Leviticus 24:12) when they did not yet know whether he was liable to execution. But the Rabbis taught that the blasphemer’s incarceration was an ad hoc decision (from which one cannot generalize).[130]

Rabbi Meir deduced from Leviticus 24:15 that anyone who cursed God using a substitute for God’s Name was subject to execution (since Leviticus 24:15 does not mention God’s Name). But the Sages maintained that blasphemy was punishable by death only when the blasphemer used God’s ineffable Name, and blasphemy employing substitutes was the object of an injunction (but not punishable by death).[131]

Noting that Exodus 21:17 commands, “He that curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death,” and Leviticus 24:15 commands, “Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin,” the Rabbis taught in a Baraita that Scripture likens cursing parents to cursing God. Exodus 20:11 (20:12 in NJSP) commands, “Honor your father and your mother,” and Proverbs 3:9 directs, “Honor the Lord with your substance,” Scripture likens the honor due to parents to that due to God. And as Leviticus 19:3 commands, “You shall fear your father and mother,” and Deuteronomy 6:13 commands, “The Lord your God you shall fear and you shall serve,” Scripture likens the fear of parents to the fear of God. But the Baraita conceded that with respect to striking (which Exodus 21:15 addresses with regard to parents), that it is certainly impossible (with respect to God). The Baraita concluded that these comparisons between parents and God are only logical, since the three (God, the mother, and the father) are partners in creation of the child. For the Rabbis taught in a Baraita that there are three partners in the creation of a person — God, the father, and the mother. When one honors one’s father and mother, God considers it as if God had dwelt among them and they had honored God. And a Tanna taught before Rav Nachman that when one vexes one’s father and mother, God considers it right not to dwell among them, for had God dwelt among them, they would have vexed God.[132]

The Gemara taught that the words “eye for eye” in Leviticus 24:20 meant pecuniary compensation. Rabbi Simon ben Yohai asked those who would take the words literally how they would enforce equal justice where a blind man put out the eye of another man, or an amputee cut off the hand of another, or where a lame person broke the leg of another. The school of Rabbi Ishmael cited the words “so shall it be given to him” in Leviticus 24:20, and deduced that the word “give” could apply only to pecuniary compensation. The school of Rabbi Hiyya cited the words “hand for hand” in the parallel discussion in Deuteronomy 19:21 to mean that an article was given from hand to hand, namely money. Abaye reported that a sage of the school of Hezekiah taught that Exodus 21:23–24 said “eye for eye” and “life for life,” but not “life and eye for eye,” and it could sometimes happen that eye and life would be taken for an eye, as when the offender died while being blinded. Rav Papa said in the name of Rava that Exodus 21:19 referred explicitly to healing, and the verse would not make sense if one assumed that retaliation was meant. And Rav Ashi taught that the principle of pecuniary compensation could be derived from the analogous use of the term “for” in Exodus 21:24 in the expression “eye for eye” and in Exodus 21:36 in the expression “he shall surely pay ox for ox.” As the latter case plainly indicated pecuniary compensation, so must the former.[133]

In medieval rabbinic interpretation[edit]

Leviticus chapter 22[edit]

Maimonides

Drawing on a discussion in the Babylonian Talmud[97] (reported in “In classical rabbinic interpretation: Chapter 22” above), Maimonides taught that all Jews are commanded regarding the sanctification of God’s Name, as Leviticus 22:32 states: “And I shall be sanctified amidst the children of Israel.” And they are similarly warned against desecrating God’s Name, as Leviticus 22:32 states, “And they shall not desecrate My holy Name.” Maimonides taught that this implies that should a gentile force a Jew to violate one of the Torah’s commandments at the threat of death, the Jew should violate the commandment rather than be killed, because Leviticus 18:5 states concerning the commandments: “which a man will perform and live by them.” The commandments were given so that one may live by them and not die because of them. If one dies rather than transgress a commandment, one is held accountable for one’s life.[134] But Maimonides taught that this rule applies with regard to commandments other than the worship of other gods, forbidden sexual relations, and murder. With regard to these three sins, if one is ordered to transgress one of them or be killed, one should sacrifice one’s life rather than transgress. And Maimonides taught that these general rules apply when the gentile desires something for the gentile’s own personal benefit — for example, to build a house for the gentile on the Sabbath. But if the gentile’s intention is solely to have the Jew violate the commandments, the following rules apply: If there are not ten other Jews present, the Jew should transgress the commandment to stay alive. But if the gentile forces the Jew to transgress a commandment in the presence of ten Jews, the Jew should sacrifice the Jew’s life and not transgress even one of the commandments.[135] Maimonides further taught that in times when a wicked ruler like Nebuchadnezzar or his like issues a decree against the Jews to nullify their faith or one of the commandments, one should sacrifice one’s life rather than transgress any of the commandments, whether one is compelled to transgress in the presence of ten Jews or only among gentiles.[136] Maimonides taught that when, as required above, one sacrifices one’s life and does not transgress, that person sanctifies God’s Name, and there is no higher level above that person. And when, under such circumstances, one instead transgresses, that person desecrates God’s Name. But Maimonides taught that one who could escape from under the power of such a wicked ruler and fails to do so is like a dog who returns his vomit. That person is considered as one who worships false gods willingly and will be prevented from reaching the World to Come and will descend to the lowest levels of Gehinnom.[137] And Maimonides taught that whoever consciously transgresses one of the commandments without being forced to, in a spirit of derision, to arouse Divine anger, desecrates God’s name. Conversely, anyone who refrains from committing a sin or performs a commandment for no ulterior motive, neither out of fear or dread, nor to seek honor, but for God’s sake — as Joseph held himself back from his master’s wife — sanctifies God’s name.[138]

In modern interpretation[edit]

Leviticus chapter 24[edit]

Reading the account of the blasphemer in Leviticus 24:11–16, British anthropologist Mary Douglas observed that the man did two bad things — he cursed and he spoke against or “pierced with words” the Name of God. Douglas noted that the Israelites put him to death by stoning, and the Hebrew stem of the verb translated as “to stone” means to hurl or pelt. Douglas suggested that if wordplay is admitted, the story could be read to say that the blasphemer hurled insults at the Name of God, and then God ordained that the blasphemer should die by stones hurled at him. Employing the English metaphor of mud-slinging, Douglas compared the end of the story to: “he has slung mud, let him die by mud slung at him.” Selecting possible meanings of character names that fit the story, Douglas suggested that the story told to children could go like this: Once there was a man with no name, son of Retribution, grandson of Lawsuit, from the house of Judgment, who pelted insults at the Name, and God said that he should die — because he pelted God’s Name, he should be pelted to death.[139] Douglas proposed that by quoting the “eye for eye” law in a jingly form, in a peculiar circumstance where it does not really fit, surrounded by funny names, the writer of Leviticus may be trying to say something else about the measure-for-measure principle, testing the universal validity of the principle of retribution.[140] Douglas posited that the “subtlety of thought and the high degree of literary control exerted throughout Leviticus” suggest that the priestly writer referred to other people’s legal codes in an ironic if not disingenuous vein.[141] Douglas concluded that the writer of Leviticus aped the style of foreign laws when touching on “negative reciprocity,” but it is rather “positive reciprocity, gift with gift,” that is the central theme in Leviticus. The writer of Leviticus sought to show that God’s compassion and God’s justice were available to be perceived by anyone reading the Bible’s account of God’s covenant.[142]

Commandments[edit]

According to the Sefer ha-Chinuch, there are 24 positive and 39 negative commandments in the parashah:[143]

  • A Kohen must not defile himself for anyone except certain relatives.[3]
  • To mourn for a close relative[144]
  • An impure Kohen, following immersion, must wait until after sundown before returning to service.[145]
  • A Kohen must not marry a woman who had forbidden relations.[6]
  • A Kohen must not marry a woman born from a disqualified marriage.[6]
  • A Kohen must not marry a divorcee.[6]
  • To dedicate the Kohen for service[146]
  • The High Priest must not enter under the same roof as a corpse.[9]
  • The High Priest must not defile himself for any relative.[9]
  • The High Priest must marry a virgin.[147]
  • The High Priest must not marry a widow.[148]
  • The High Priest must not have sexual relations with a widow even outside of marriage.[149]
  • A Kohen with a physical blemish must not serve.[150]
  • A Kohen with a temporary blemish must not serve.[150]
  • A Kohen with a physical blemish must not enter the sanctuary or approach the altar.[151]
  • Impure Kohanim must not do service in the Temple.[152]
  • An impure Kohen must not eat terumah.[153]
  • A non-Kohen must not eat terumah.[154]
  • A hired worker or a Jewish bondsman of a Kohen must not eat terumah.[154]
  • An uncircumcised person must not eat terumah.[154]
  • A woman born from a disqualified marriage must not eat terumah.[155]
  • Not to eat produce from which the tithes have not been separated[156]
  • Not to dedicate a blemished animal for the altar[157]
  • To offer only unblemished animals[158]
  • Not to wound dedicated animals[159]
  • Not to sprinkle the blood of a blemished animal[160]
  • Not to slaughter a blemished animal for an offering[161]
  • Not to burn the fat of a blemished animal on the altar[162]
  • Not to castrate animals[163]
  • Not to sacrifice blemished animals even if offered by non-Jews[164]
  • To offer only animals which are at least eight days old[165]
  • Not to slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day[166]
  • Not to profane God’s Name[167]
  • To sanctify God’s Name[168]
  • To rest on the first day of Passover[169]
  • Not to do prohibited labor on the first day of Passover[170]
  • To offer the musaf offering all seven days of Passover[170]
  • To rest on the seventh day of Passover[170]
  • Not to do prohibited labor on the seventh day of Passover[170]
  • To offer the wave offering from the meal of the new wheat[171]
  • Not to eat bread from new grain before the omer[172]
  • Not to eat parched grains from new grain before the omer[173]
  • Not to eat ripened grains from new grain before the omer[174]
  • To count the omer[175]
  • To bring two loaves to accompany the Shavuot sacrifice[176]
  • To offer the musaf offering on Yom Kippur[177]
  • To rest on Shavuot[178]
  • Not to do prohibited labor on Shavuot[179]
lulav and etrog
  • To rest on Rosh Hashanah[180]
  • Not to do prohibited labor on Rosh Hashanah[181]
  • To offer the musaf offering on Rosh Hashanah[182]
  • To fast on Yom Kippur[183]
  • Not to do prohibited labor on Yom Kippur[184]
  • Not to eat or drink on Yom Kippur[185]
  • To rest from prohibited labor on Yom Kippur[186]
  • To rest on Sukkot[187]
  • Not to do prohibited labor on Sukkot[188]
  • To offer the musaf offering all the days of Sukkot[189]
  • To rest on Shmini Atzeret[190]
  • To offer the musaf offering on Shmini Atzeret[191]
  • Not to do prohibited labor on Shmini Atzeret[192]
  • To take up a lulav and etrog all seven days[193]
  • To dwell in a sukkah for the seven days of Sukkot[194]

In the liturgy[edit]

Some Jews refer to the 24 priestly gifts deduced from Leviticus 21 and Numbers 18 as they study chapter 6 of Pirkei Avot on a Sabbath between Passover and Rosh Hashanah.[195]

A page from a 14th-century German Haggadah

The laws of a priest’s family eating meat from sacrifices in Leviticus 22:11–13 provide an application of the eleventh of the Thirteen Rules for interpreting the Torah in the Baraita of Rabbi Ishmael that many Jews read as part of the readings before the Pesukei d’Zimrah prayer service. The eleventh rule provides that any item that was included in a generalization but was then singled out to be treated as a special case is not governed by the generalization unless Scripture explicitly returns it to the generalization. Leviticus 22:11 states the general rule that a priest’s entire household could eat meat from sacrifices. But Leviticus 22:12 then says that if a priest’s daughter married a non-priest, then she could no longer eat meat from sacrifices. What if she was then widowed or divorced without children and returned to live with her father’s household? Reading Leviticus 22:12, one might think that she still could not eat meat from sacrifices, but Leviticus 22:13 explicitly returns her to the general rule that she could eat meat from sacrifices.[196]

The Passover Haggadah, in the concluding nirtzah section of the Seder, ties together a reference to Abraham’s hospitality to his visitors in Genesis 18:7 with the reading for the second day of Passover that includes in Leviticus 22:27 a discussion of a bullock offering. The Haggadah reports that Abraham ran to the cattle to commemorate the ox in the reading for Passover, deducing the season from the report in Genesis 19:3 that Lot fed his visitors matzah.[197]

Ezekiel (painting by Michelangelo)

Haftarah[edit]

The haftarah for the parashah is Ezekiel 44:15–31.

Further reading[edit]

The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these sources:

Ancient[edit]

Plato

Biblical[edit]

Early nonrabbinic[edit]

Classical rabbinic[edit]

Talmud

Medieval[edit]

  • Saadia Gaon. Emunoth ve-Deoth (The Book of Beliefs and Opinions), treatise 3, chapters 1, 5; treatise 5, chapters 1, 8. Baghdad, Babylonia, 933. Reprinted in The Book of Beliefs and Opinions. Translated by Samuel Rosenblatt, pages 139, 154, 205, 234. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948. ISBN 0-300-04490-9.
Rashi
  • Rashi. Commentary. Leviticus 21–24. Troyes, France, late 11th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, volume 3, pages 261–315. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-028-5.
  • Rashbam. Commentary on the Torah. Troyes, early 12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashbam’s Commentary on Leviticus and Numbers: An Annotated Translation. Edited and translated by Martin I. Lockshin, pages 115–29. Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2001. ISBN 1-930675-07-0.
  • Judah Halevi. Kuzari. 2:20, 26, 50; 3:41, 46–47; 5:27. Toledo, Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel. Introduction by Henry Slonimsky, pages 94, 102, 115, 173, 175, 295. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.
  • Abraham ibn Ezra. Commentary on the Torah. Mid-12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Pentateuch: Leviticus (Va-yikra). Translated and annotated by H. Norman Strickman and Arthur M. Silver, volume 3, pages 186–238. New York: Menorah Publishing Company, 2004. ISBN 0-932232-11-6.
Maimonides
The Tree of Life in The Bahir
  • Bahir, part 1, paragraph 105. Provence, circa 1174. Reprinted in, e.g., The Bahir: A Translation and Commentary. Translation and commentary by Aryeh Kaplan, pages 39–40. Lanham, Maryland: Jason Aronson, 1977. ISBN 1-56821-383-2.
  • Hezekiah ben Manoah. Hizkuni. France, circa 1240. Reprinted in, e.g., Chizkiyahu ben Manoach. Chizkuni: Torah Commentary. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 3, pages 781–817. Jerusalem: Ktav Publishers, 2013. ISBN 978-1-60280-261-2.
  • Nachmanides. Commentary on the Torah. Jerusalem, circa 1270. Reprinted in, e.g., Ramban (Nachmanides): Commentary on the Torah. Translated by Charles B. Chavel, volume 3, pages 326–408. New York: Shilo Publishing House, 1974. ISBN 0-88328-007-8.
The Zohar
  • Zohar part 1, pages 65a, 112a, 166b, 181a; part 2, pages 39b, 40b, 95a, 101a, 108b, 121b, 129b, 133a, 153b, 183a–b, 215a, 216b, 231a, 237a; part 3, pages 7a, 67a, 69b, 73b, 88a–107b. Spain, late 13th century. Reprinted in, e.g., The Zohar. Translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon. 5 volumes. London: Soncino Press, 1934.
  • Bahya ben Asher. Commentary on the Torah. Spain, early 14th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbeinu Bachya: Torah Commentary by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 5, pages 1766–821. Jerusalem: Lambda Publishers, 2003. ISBN 965-7108-45-4.
  • Jacob ben Asher (Baal Ha-Turim). Rimze Ba'al ha-Turim. Early 14th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Baal Haturim Chumash: Vayikra/Leviticus. Translated by Eliyahu Touger; edited, elucidated, and annotated by Avie Gold, volume 3, pages 1221–69. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-57819-130-0.
  • Jacob ben Asher. Perush Al ha-Torah. Early 14th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Yaakov ben Asher. Tur on the Torah. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 3, pages 933–68. Jerusalem: Lambda Publishers, 2005. ISBN 978-965-7108-76-5.
  • Isaac ben Moses Arama. Akedat Yizhak (The Binding of Isaac). Late 15th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Yitzchak Arama. Akeydat Yitzchak: Commentary of Rabbi Yitzchak Arama on the Torah. Translated and condensed by Eliyahu Munk, volume 2, pages 633–69. New York, Lambda Publishers, 2001. ISBN 965-7108-30-6.

Modern[edit]

  • Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno. Commentary on the Torah. Venice, 1567. Reprinted in, e.g., Sforno: Commentary on the Torah. Translation and explanatory notes by Raphael Pelcovitz, pages 590–613. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1997. ISBN 0-89906-268-7.
  • Moshe Alshich. Commentary on the Torah. Safed, circa 1593. Reprinted in, e.g., Moshe Alshich. Midrash of Rabbi Moshe Alshich on the Torah. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 2, pages 718–50. New York, Lambda Publishers, 2000. ISBN 965-7108-13-6.
  • Avraham Yehoshua Heschel. Commentaries on the Torah. Cracow, Poland, mid 17th century. Compiled as Chanukat HaTorah. Edited by Chanoch Henoch Erzohn. Piotrkow, Poland, 1900. Reprinted in Avraham Yehoshua Heschel. Chanukas HaTorah: Mystical Insights of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel on Chumash. Translated by Avraham Peretz Friedman, pages 236–37. Southfield, Michigan: Targum Press/Feldheim Publishers, 2004. ISBN 1-56871-303-7.
Hobbes
Luzzatto
Mann
Plaut

External links[edit]

Old book bindings.jpg

Texts[edit]

Commentaries[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Torah Stats — VaYikra". Akhlah Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash: Vayikra/Leviticus. Edited by Menachem Davis, pages 147–73. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2008. ISBN 1-4226-0206-0.
  3. ^ a b Leviticus 21:1.
  4. ^ Leviticus 21:1–4.
  5. ^ Leviticus 21:5.
  6. ^ a b c d Leviticus 21:7.
  7. ^ Leviticus 21:9.
  8. ^ Leviticus 21:10.
  9. ^ a b c Leviticus 21:11.
  10. ^ Leviticus 21:13–15.
  11. ^ Leviticus 21:16–21.
  12. ^ Leviticus 21:22–23.
  13. ^ Leviticus 22:1–9.
  14. ^ Leviticus 22:10–16.
  15. ^ Leviticus 22:17–25.
  16. ^ Leviticus 23:3.
  17. ^ Leviticus 23:4–8.
  18. ^ Leviticus 23:15–21.
  19. ^ Leviticus 23:23–25.
  20. ^ Leviticus 23:26–32.
  21. ^ Leviticus 23:33–42.
  22. ^ Leviticus 24:1–4.
  23. ^ Leviticus 24:5–9.
  24. ^ Leviticus 24:10–11.
  25. ^ Leviticus 24:11–12.
  26. ^ Leviticus 24:13–14, 23.
  27. ^ Leviticus 24:15–16.
  28. ^ Leviticus 24:17.
  29. ^ Leviticus 24:18.
  30. ^ Leviticus 24:19–20.
  31. ^ See, e.g., "A Complete Triennial Cycle for Reading the Torah". The Jewish Theological Seminary. Retrieved November 12, 2013. 
  32. ^ The Code of Hammurabi, sections 194–214. Babylonia, Circa 1780 BCE. Reprinted in, e.g., James B. Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, page 175. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. ISBN 0-691-03503-2.
  33. ^ For more on inner-Biblical interpretation, see, e.g., Benjamin D. Sommer. “Inner-biblical Interpretation.” In The Jewish Study Bible. Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, pages 1829–35. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-529751-2.
  34. ^ Exodus 12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48; 34:25; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:2, 4–6, 10, 12–14; 28:16; 33:3; Deuteronomy 16:1–2, 5–6; Joshua 5:10–11; 2 Kings 23:21–23; Ezekiel 45:21; Ezra 6:19–20; 2 Chronicles 30:1–2, 5, 15, 17–18; 35:1, 6–9, 11, 13, 16–19.
  35. ^ Exodus 12:17; 23:15; 34:18; Leviticus 23:6; Deuteronomy 16:16; Ezekiel 45:21; Ezra 6:22; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 30:13, 21; 35:17.
  36. ^ Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7–8; Numbers 28:18, 25.
  37. ^ See, e.g., W. Gunther Plaut. The Torah: A Modern Commentary, page 456. New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981. ISBN 0-8074-0055-6.
  38. ^ a b W. Gunther Plaut. The Torah: A Modern Commentary, page 464.
  39. ^ Exodus 12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48; Deuteronomy 16:2, 5–6; Ezra 6:20; 2 Chronicles 30:15, 17–18; 35:1, 6–9, 11, 13.
  40. ^ Exodus 12:42; 23:15; 34:18; Numbers 33:3; Deuteronomy 16:1, 3, 6.
  41. ^ Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10; see also 2 Chronicles 8:13 (חַג הַשָּׁבֻעוֹת, Chag haShavuot).
  42. ^ Numbers 28:26.
  43. ^ Exodus 23:16
  44. ^ Leviticus 23:21; Numbers 28:26.
  45. ^ See also Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:17; Numbers 28:26.
  46. ^ Levitcus 23:24.
  47. ^ Numbers 29:1.
  48. ^ Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1.
  49. ^ Nehemiah 8:9–12.
  50. ^ Levitcus 23:27 and 25:9.
  51. ^ Levitcus 23:28.
  52. ^ Levitcus 16:31 and 23:32.
  53. ^ Levitcus 23:27 and Numbers 29:7.
  54. ^ Leviticus 23:34; Deuteronomy 16:13, 16; 31:10; Zechariah 14:16, 18, 19; Ezra 3:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13.
  55. ^ Exodus 23:16, 34:22.
  56. ^ a b 1 Kings 8:2, 65; 12:32; 2 Chronicles 5:3; 7:8.
  57. ^ Leviticus 23:39; Judges 21:19.
  58. ^ Ezekiel 45:25; Nehemiah 8:14.
  59. ^ Numbers 29:12.
  60. ^ Exodus 23:16
  61. ^ Deuteronomy 16:13.
  62. ^ Compare Judges 9:27.
  63. ^ Isaiah 1:8.
  64. ^ Leviticus 23:39; Judges 21:19
  65. ^ Deuteronomy 31:10–11.
  66. ^ 1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 7.
  67. ^ Ezra 3:2–4.
  68. ^ Nehemiah 8:13–17.
  69. ^ Nehemiah 8:14–15.
  70. ^ Leviticus 23:42–43.
  71. ^ Numbers 11:10; 16:27.
  72. ^ E.g., Richard Elliott Friedman. The Bible with Sources Revealed, pages 228–29. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003.
  73. ^ 1 Kings 12:32–33.
  74. ^ 1 Kings 13:1.
  75. ^ Zechariah 14:16–19.
  76. ^ Leviticus Rabbah 26:3.
  77. ^ Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 114a.
  78. ^ Leviticus Rabbah 26:8.
  79. ^ Mishnah Kiddushin 1:7. Land of Israel, circa 200 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 488–89. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4. Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 29a.
  80. ^ Mishnah Makkot 3:9. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 618. Babylonian Talmud Makkot 21b.
  81. ^ Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 22b.
  82. ^ Mishnah Horayot 3:4. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 694–95. Babylonian Talmud Horayot 11b.
  83. ^ Mishnah Horayot 3:5. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 695. Babylonian Talmud Horayot 12b.
  84. ^ Babylonian Talmud Gittin 59b.
  85. ^ Mishnah Horayot 3:8. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 695. Babylonian Talmud Horayot 13a.
  86. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 49b–52a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, page 49b3–52a1. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 1-57819-630-2.
  87. ^ Leviticus Rabbah 26:9.
  88. ^ Sifre to Numbers 26:2.
  89. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 83a.
  90. ^ Mishnah Megillah 4:7. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 323. Babylonian Talmud Megillah 24b.
  91. ^ Babylonian Talmud Megillah 24b.
  92. ^ Babylonian Talmud Megillah 29a.
  93. ^ Mishnah Sanhedrin 9:6. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 604. Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 81b.
  94. ^ Mishnah Kinnim 1:1. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 883.
  95. ^ Babylonian Talmud Bekhorot 33b–34a.
  96. ^ Babylonian Talmud Chagigah 14b.
  97. ^ a b Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 74a–b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, page 74a3–b1.
  98. ^ Babylonian Talmud Yoma 86a.
  99. ^ Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 21b.
  100. ^ Mishnah Shabbat 1:1–24:5. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 179–208. Tosefta Shabbat 1:1–17:29. Land of Israel, circa 300 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, pages 357–427. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2. Jerusalem Talmud Shabbat 1a–113b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Elucidated by Yehuda Jaffa, Gershon Hoffman, Mordechai Smilowitz, Abba Zvi Naiman, Chaim Ochs, and Mendy Wachsman; edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volumes 13–15. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2013. Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 2a–157b. Reprinted in, e.g., Koren Talmud Bavli: Tractate Shabbat. Commentary by Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), volumes 2–3. Jerusalem: Koren Publishers, 2012.
  101. ^ Mishnah Beitzah 5:2. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 298. Babylonian Talmud Beitzah 36b. See also Mishnah Megillah 1:5. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 317. Babylonian Talmud Megillah 7b.
  102. ^ Sifra 228:2:1.
  103. ^ Mishnah Beitzah 1:1–5:7. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 291–99. Tosefta Yom Tov (Beitzah) 1:1–4:11. Jerusalem Talmud Beitzah 1a–49b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volume 23. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2010. ISBN 1-4226-0246-X. Babylonian Talmud Beitzah 2a–40b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Yisroel Reisman; edited by Hersh Goldwurm, volume 17. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1991. ISBN 1-57819-616-7.
  104. ^ Mishnah Pesachim 1:1–10:9. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 229–51. Tosefta Pisha (Pesachim) 1:1–10:13. Jerusalem Talmud Pesachim 1a–86a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volumes 18–19. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2011. Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 2a–121b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volumes 9–11. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1997–1998.
  105. ^ Babylonian Talmud Yoma 2b.
  106. ^ Mishnah Pesachim 9:3. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 247. Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 95a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Eliezer Herzka, Dovid Kamenetsky, Eli Shulman, Feivel Wahl, and Mendy Wachsman; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 11, page 95a1.
  107. ^ Mishnah Peah 1:1–8:9. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 14–36. Tosefta Peah 1:1–4:21. Jerusalem Talmud Peah 1a–73b.
  108. ^ Mishnah Peah 1:1. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 14–15. Tosefta Peah 1:1. Jerusalem Talmud Peah 1a.
  109. ^ Mishnah Peah 1:2. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 15. Jerusalem Talmud Peah 10b.
  110. ^ Mishnah Peah 3:6. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 19–20.
  111. ^ Mishnah Peah 4:5. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 21.
  112. ^ Mishnah Nedarim 11:3. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 428.
  113. ^ Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 1:1–4:9. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 299–307. Tosefta Rosh Hashanah 1:1–2:18. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, pages 605–18. Jerusalem Talmud Rosh Hashanah 1a–27a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Elucidated by Gershon Hoffman, Mordechai Smilowitz, Yehuda Jaffa, Mordechai Stareshefsky, Chaim Ochs, and Abba Zvi Naiman; edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volume 24. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2012. ISBN 1-4226-0254-0. Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 2a–35a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Abba Zvi Naiman, Israel Schneider, Moshe Zev Einhorn, and Eliezer Herzka; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 18. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1999. ISBN 1-57819-617-5.
  114. ^ Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 1:2. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 299–300. Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 16a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Abba Zvi Naiman, Israel Schneider, Moshe Zev Einhorn, and Eliezer Herzka; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 18, page 16a1.
  115. ^ Tosefta Rosh Hashanah 1:13. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, page 608.
  116. ^ Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 16b–17a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Abba Zvi Naiman, Israel Schneider, Moshe Zev Einhorn, and Eliezer Herzka; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 18, pages 16b3–17a1.
  117. ^ Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 11a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Abba Zvi Naiman, Israel Schneider, Moshe Zev Einhorn, and Eliezer Herzka; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 18, page 11a1.
  118. ^ Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 46. Early 9th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Translated and annotated by Gerald Friedlander, pages 359–60. London, 1916. Reprinted New York: Hermon Press, 1970. ISBN 0-87203-183-7.
  119. ^ Mishnah Yoma 1:1–8:9. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 265–79. Tosefta Kippurim (Yoma) 1:1–4:17. Jerusalem Talmud Yoma 1a–57a. Babylonian Talmud Yoma 2a–88a.
  120. ^ Sifra 228:2:2.
  121. ^ Leviticus Rabbah 30:7.
  122. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:1–5:8. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 279–91. Tosefta Sukkah 1:1–4:28. Jerusalem Talmud Sukkah 1a–33b. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 2a–56b.
  123. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:1. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 279. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 2a.
  124. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:1. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 279. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 9a.
  125. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:2. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 280. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 9b.
  126. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:3. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 280. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 10a.
  127. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:4. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 280. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 11a.
  128. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:5. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 280. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 12a.
  129. ^ Mishnah Sukkah 1:6. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 280. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 14a.
  130. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 78b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, page 78b1. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 1-57819-630-2.
  131. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 56a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Michoel Weiner and Asher Dicker; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 48, pages 56a3–4.
  132. ^ Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 30b–31a.
  133. ^ Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 84a.
  134. ^ Maimonides. Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah (The Laws that Are the Foundations of the Torah), chapter 5, ¶ 1. Egypt. Circa 1170–1180. Reprinted in, e.g., Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah: The Laws [which Are] the Foundations of the Torah. Translated by Eliyahu Touger, volume 1, pages 206–09. New York: Moznaim Publishing, 1989. ISBN 0-940118-48-6.
  135. ^ Maimonides. Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah (The Laws that Are the Foundations of the Torah), chapter 5, ¶ 2. Reprinted in, e.g., Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah: The Laws [which Are] the Foundations of the Torah. Translated by Eliyahu Touger, volume 1, pages 208–11.
  136. ^ Maimonides. Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah (The Laws that Are the Foundations of the Torah), chapter 5, ¶ 3. Reprinted in, e.g., Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah: The Laws [which Are] the Foundations of the Torah. Translated by Eliyahu Touger, volume 1, pages 210–13.
  137. ^ Maimonides. Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah (The Laws that Are the Foundations of the Torah), chapter 5, ¶ 4. Reprinted in, e.g., Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah: The Laws [which Are] the Foundations of the Torah. Translated by Eliyahu Touger, volume 1, pages 212–17.
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  139. ^ Mary Douglas. Leviticus as Literature, page 207. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-19-924419-7.
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  143. ^ Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, 3:163–363. Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 1984. ISBN 0-87306-297-3.
  144. ^ Leviticus 21:3.
  145. ^ Leviticus 22:7.
  146. ^ Leviticus 21:8.
  147. ^ Leviticus 21:13.
  148. ^ Leviticus 21:14.
  149. ^ Leviticus 21:15.
  150. ^ a b Leviticus 21:17.
  151. ^ Leviticus 21:23.
  152. ^ Leviticus 22:2.
  153. ^ Leviticus 22:4.
  154. ^ a b c Leviticus 22:10.
  155. ^ Leviticus 22:12.
  156. ^ Leviticus 22:15.
  157. ^ Leviticus 22:20.
  158. ^ Leviticus 22:21.
  159. ^ Leviticus 22:21.
  160. ^ Leviticus 22:24.
  161. ^ Leviticus 22:22.
  162. ^ Leviticus 22:22.
  163. ^ Leviticus 22:24.
  164. ^ Leviticus 22:25.
  165. ^ Leviticus 22:27.
  166. ^ Leviticus 22:28.
  167. ^ Leviticus 22:32.
  168. ^ Leviticus 22:32.
  169. ^ Leviticus 23:7.
  170. ^ a b c d Leviticus 23:8.
  171. ^ Leviticus 23:10.
  172. ^ Leviticus 23:14.
  173. ^ Leviticus 23:14.
  174. ^ Leviticus 23:14.
  175. ^ Leviticus 23:15.
  176. ^ Leviticus 23:17.
  177. ^ Leviticus 23:27.
  178. ^ Leviticus 23:21.
  179. ^ Leviticus 23:21.
  180. ^ Leviticus 23:24.
  181. ^ Leviticus 23:25.
  182. ^ Leviticus 23:25.
  183. ^ Leviticus 23:27.
  184. ^ Leviticus 23:27.
  185. ^ Leviticus 23:29.
  186. ^ Leviticus 23:32.
  187. ^ Leviticus 23:35.
  188. ^ Leviticus 23:35.
  189. ^ Leviticus 23:36.
  190. ^ Leviticus 23:36.
  191. ^ Leviticus 23:36.
  192. ^ Leviticus 23:36.
  193. ^ Leviticus 23:40.
  194. ^ Leviticus 23:42.
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