Torah Portion

Kedoshim

קדושים

Leviticus 19:1-20:27
Ezekiel 22:1-16

Speaking Truth to Power, Job Accuses God of Being Unjust

Speaking Truth to Power, Job Accuses God of Being Unjust

Job's friends piously justify God's actions and challenge Job to accept that he has done wrong. Yet God sides with Job and rebukes the friends for not “speaking about me in honesty as did my servant Job”.

Prof.
Edward L. Greenstein
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Terms of Taboo: What Is the Moral Basis for the Sexual Prohibitions?

Terms of Taboo: What Is the Moral Basis for the Sexual Prohibitions?

Leviticus 18 and 20 condemn sexual sins using several harsh terms; toevah, zimmah, chesed, tevel. Do these terms have specific meanings and what do they tell us about the Torah’s reason for forbidding incest?

Dr.
Yitzhaq Feder
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Love Your Neighbor: How It Became the Golden Rule

Love Your Neighbor: How It Became the Golden Rule

The precept וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” in Leviticus, is one of many action-oriented commandments focused on Israelite social cohesion. Only in Late Antique Jewish and early Christian sources, did the rule take on a transcendent role as the principle in which all of the Torah is encompassed.

Prof.
John J. Collins
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Does the Torah Prohibit Father–Daughter Incest?

Does the Torah Prohibit Father–Daughter Incest?

Leviticus 18 includes an extensive list of prohibited sexual relations, including incest, but it does not mention relations between a father and daughter. How can this glaring omission be explained?

Dr.
Eve Levavi Feinstein
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Bestiality in Biblical and Hittite Law

Bestiality in Biblical and Hittite Law

Only two law collections in the ancient Near East discuss bestiality: the Torah and the Hittite laws. How do these laws differ, and why may they have developed?

Dr.
Ilan Peled
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Poetic Laws

Poetic Laws

A fresh look at the legislation in Parashat Kedoshim: Are we reading the legal details wrong? 

Dr.
Jason Gaines
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Gleanings for the Poor – Justice, Not Charity

Gleanings for the Poor – Justice, Not Charity

The agricultural allocations for the poor outlined in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are a series of negative commandments, in which God forbids Israelite householders from gathering some of their produce and requires them to leave it for the poor. The rabbis took these laws a step further, granting the poor property rights over the allocations even before they are gathered.

Dr.
Gregg E. Gardner
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The Priestly Repudiation of Yibbum

The Priestly Repudiation of Yibbum

Deuteronomy commands a man to marry the childless widow of his brother (yibbum). And yet, a close look at the Priestly text of the Torah shows that it did not have the option of yibbum.

Dr. Hacham
Isaac S. D. Sassoon
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The Law of Fourth-Year Fruit: Restraining the Ancient Vintage Celebration

The Law of Fourth-Year Fruit: Restraining the Ancient Vintage Celebration

Ancient Israel had two separate customs relating to vineyards and wine that took place during the time of vintage: a fertility rite (חילול) that marked the first use of a vineyard’s produce, and an annual vintage celebration (הילולים) in which the winegrowers praised God for their harvest. As the rites seem to have been wild, the law of ‘orla and the fourth year produce (רבעי) in Lev. 19:23-25 attempts to restrict them.

Dr.
Itamar Kislev
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The Inner Workings of a Genizah Midrash on the Symbolic Value of Orlah

The Inner Workings of a Genizah Midrash on the Symbolic Value of Orlah

A set of homilies from the Genizah connects two biblical readings (sidrot) in Leviticus by emphasizing the importance of the mitzvah of orlah as a key to inheriting and remaining on the land.

Dr.
Shana Strauch-Schick
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Tova Sacher
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Sexual Prohibitions in the Bible and the ANE: A Comparison

Sexual Prohibitions in the Bible and the ANE: A Comparison

How do the laws of Leviticus 18 compare to the laws and practices of the Babylonians, Hittites, and Egyptians, and to the rest of the Bible?

Dr.
Eve Levavi Feinstein
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Paying Workers Immediately or Within Twelve Hours?

Paying Workers Immediately or Within Twelve Hours?

Leviticus 19:13 and Deuteronomy 24:14 insist that workers be paid without delay. The Talmud, however, interprets these two verses in a way that actually delays paying the workers. Rashbam and Ramban, reassert the peshat (plain meaning), thereby preserving the intent of the law.

Prof. Rabbi
Marty Lockshin
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Kedoshim

קדושים

Leviticus 19:1-20:27

לֹא תְקַלֵּל חֵרֵשׁ וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשֹׁל

ויקרא יט:יד

You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind.

Lev 19:14

Leviticus

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