Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Achrei Mot
To dedicate this lesson
An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parsha Summary: Acharei Mot - Kedoshim


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Our double-Sedra begins with laws of the Kohanim. On Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol brings 2 two identical goat offerings: one "for Hashem" is offered in the Temple; one "for Azazel" is sent to wander in the desert. On Yom Kippur, we abstain from eating, drinking, anointing, wearing leather shoes, washing & marital relations.

We are warned against copying the practices & cultures of foreign nations. Incest is defined & prohibited. Marital relations are forbidden during a woman's monthly cycle. Homosexuality, bestiality & child sacrifice are prohibited.

In Kedoshim, we are told to be holy. Among the Mitzvot: Prohibitions of idolatry; theft; false oaths; delaying payment to an employee; hating or cursing a fellow Jew; gossip; perversion of justice; inaction when others need help; embarrassing; revenge; bearing a grudge; wearing a garment of wool & linen; harvesting a tree in its first 3 years; gluttony & intoxication; witchcraft; tattooing.

Positive Mitzvot include: Awe for parents; respect for the elderly; leaving part of the harvest for the poor; loving others (especially a convert); respect for Torah scholars, the blind & deaf; kashrut. And the all-inclusive Mitzva of "V’Ahavta L’Rayacha Kamocha" – Love your fellow Jew as you love yourself.
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