Posts Tagged ‘Leviticus’

Behar-Behukkotai 5777

May 16, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 14th, 2017

Why does Lev 26:42 list the patriarchs in reverse order?  A symposium.

Bonus:  Rashi explains why the NJPS translation is wrong.

Lev. 26:42 Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob; I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land.

This week’s handout:  32-33 Behar-Behukkotai 5777



Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777

May 2, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 30th, 2017

What kind of “self-denial” does the Bible ask us to practice on Yom Kippur?  The real meaning of ve-innitem et nafshoteichem.

Lev. 16:29      And this shall be to you a law for all time: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall practice self-denial [תענו את נפשותיכם]; and you shall do no manner of work, neither the citizen nor the alien who resides among you. 30 For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before the Lord. 31 It shall be a sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall practice self-denial [ועניתם את נפשותיכם]; it is a law for all time.

This week’s handout:  29-30 Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777

Baruch Schwartz, “Yom Ha-kippurim: The Biblical Significance” on


Tazria-Metzora 5777

April 25, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 23rd, 2017


The strange root צרע and the mysterious words (and names!) that derive from it.

Deut. 24:8

In cases of a skin affection [נגע צרעת] be most careful to do exactly as the levitical priests instruct you. Take care to do as I have commanded them.

This week’s handout:  27-28 Tazria-Metzora 5777


Behukkotai 5776

May 31, 2016

What is Lev 26:3 really asking the Israelites to do?  It depends how you read the verse.

This week’s handout:  33 Behukkotai 5776


Behar 5776

May 24, 2016

What does it mean to be someone’s slave “in perpetuity”?

This week’s handout:  32 Behar 5776


Emor 5776

May 17, 2016

What is the “bread of display” for, and why is it called “bread of the Face”?

This week’s handout:  31 Emor 5776


Kedoshim 5776

May 10, 2016

Double readings in the Holiness Code — plus two (count ’em, 2) kinds of reaping.

This week’s handout:  30 Kedoshim 5776


Metzora 5776

April 12, 2016

Israel’s medical priesthood.

This week’s handout:  28 Metzora 5776


Tazria 5776

April 5, 2016

Israel’s medical priesthood.

This week’s handout:  27 Tazria 5776


Shemini 5776

March 29, 2016

“The Adventures of Nadab & Abihu: Alien Fire!”
(Or is that what it really means?)

This week’s handout:  26 Shemini 5776