5 Minute Torah

Parashat Emor - Leviticus 21:1-24:23

The Relative Nearest Him

Parashat Emor begins with a problematic passage. Through Moses, God gives instructions to the priesthood prohibiting them from becoming ritually impure through corpse contamination. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and the Torah gives a list of close relatives by which a priest may allow himself to become ritually impure. This could be through either attending to the body of the deceased or merely attending their funeral, either of which would bring with it ritual contamination:

Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim - Leviticus 16:1-20:27

The Four Prohibitions

After detailing the instructions for the Yom Kippur service, the parashot of Acharei Mot and Kedoshim then hit a series of seemingly unrelated topics concerning a number of different things. For the contemporary reader, particularly to those of us from among the nations, these strange regulations seem completely out of the realm our modern lives. Outside of the obvious ethical principles of forbidden sexual relationships, what possible relevance do these seemingly antiquated ritual concerns have for us today?

Parashat Shemini - Leviticus 9:1-11:47

Parashat Shemini contains the primary passages in the Torah that spell out the laws of kashrut, laws pertaining to clean and unclean foods. It is entirely in regard to animals. It defines which animals may be eaten by the Children of Israel and which animals may not be eaten. Many modern-day readers quickly dismiss these laws as antiquated, irrelevant, and having been repealed in the New Testament. However, these attitudes do not reflect those of Yeshua or the Apostles. Let’s briefly review what the Torah says about food and then look at one implication for us today.

Tonight: Suffering. Tomorrow: Victory.

Tonight: Suffering. Tomorrow: Victory.

A Passover Devotion

Reading: Exodus 12:21 - 12:51 & Numbers 28:16 - 28:25

Parashat Tzav - Leviticus 6:1[8]-8:36

Is Holiness Contagious?

Many people work their way through the book of Leviticus like a new sailor staggering across the deck of his ship hoping his sea legs will kick in. Navigating through the complex laws of sacrificial procedures and ritual purifications can be a challenging endeavor. It is a venture into uncharted and difficult waters. But if we desire to truly understand the rest of the Scriptures, taking time to map out these difficult concepts is essential. For instance, take this example from the book of Haggai:

Parashat Vayikra - Leviticus 1:1-5:26

No Sacrifice For Sin

I can’t help but get excited when I begin studying the book of Leviticus. It’s an amazing book that deals with a wide range of topics, but has a primary focus on the levitical functions that take place within the Tabernacle. It wastes no time getting into its subject matter and immediately begins by discussing the details for the olah, or the whole burnt offering. From there it begins explaining the various aspects of each of the types of offerings that a person may bring to the LORD. 

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