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Human sacrifice & Lev 27:29


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Sivan 6, 5776
Lev 27:29 No one devoted, who is to be devoted for destruction from mankind, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death. Question: I have always been taught that the Torah teaches that Hashem outlawed human sacrifice. This is one way He set the nation of Israel apart from other nations that worshiped false gods and did require human sacrifice. So if Hashem does not allow or require human sacrifice, then this verse in the Torah confuses me. Can a rabbi provide some clarification for this verse? Toda Raba!!!!
It's always preferable to learn Hebrew and study the original text, for the source of many misunderstandings, like in this case, often go back to the mis-translation. The verse is referring to when there was capital punishment in the Sanhedrin (already abolished about 2,000 years ago), if a person was sentenced to death, for example for murder, he or someone else isn't allowed to "ransom" himself through a donation of money to the Holy Temple.
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