This week we begin the book of Leviticus with Parashat Vayikra. Leviticus is unique among the books of Torah in that it reads like a manual for the kohanim, the priests of Israel. It lays out the laws of korbanot, or sacrifices. The word korban has as its root the Hebrew letters kuf, bet, and nun. That puts it in the family of Hebrew words having to do with closeness: to draw close, to be close. Sacrifices are the way the ancient Israelites sought to be close to God.

Even though the topic seems dry and far removed from us, you will be surprised at some of the great divrei Torah available on the subject, such as these:

Generation to Generation? by Rabbi Amy Scheinerman

Vayikra: Back to Eden?  by Rabbi Rafi Mollot

Two Truths – Or One? by Rabbi Dan Fink

Thinking about Sacrifice by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Respecting the Kohanim and their Successors by Rabbi Amitai Adler

Creating I-Thou Moments by Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay

Consuming with Kedushah by Rabbi Maurice Harris

 

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