Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23
The Priestly Laws
HaShem told Moses to tell Aaron and his descendants: Let no priest defile himself with contact from dead people, except for his close family. Let no priest shave patches off his head. Let them not shave the edges of their beards or make marks on their skin. A priest must be holy because I am holy.The High Priest must not defile himself with any dead body. He must be holy for I make him holy.
You may work 6 days, but Saturday is Shabbat and it is sacred to me, and you shall do no work on that day.
These are festivals that you must celebrate as sacred holidays in their time. The afternoon of the 14th of the First month (Nissan) you must sacrifice my Passover offering. On the 15th of Nissan is the festival of matzahs, when you will eat matzah for seven days. The first day shall be a sacred holiday when you will do no service work.
When you come into the land that I am going to give you, and you reap and harvest, you must bring an omer of your first reaping to the priest. Until you bring this sacrifice to HaShem you are not to eat bread, roasted grain or fresh grain. You shall count seven complete weeks after the day following the Passover holiday when you brought the omer, a total of 50 days. On the 50th day you may present new grain as a meal offering to HaShem. This day is to be celebrated a a sacred holiday (Shavuot) when no service work may be done. When you harvest, do not reap all of the corners of the field. This is for the poor and the stranger.
The first day of the seventh month (Tishrei) is a sacred holiday and shall be a day of rest. It is a holiday for remembrance and sounding the ram’s horn.
The 10th day of the seventh month (Tishrei) shall be the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). It is a scared holiday that you must fast and bring a fire offering before HaShem. If anyone does not fast on this day, they will be cut off spiritually from my people. If you work on this day you will be spiritually destroyed. You must keep this holy from the ninth of the month until the next night.
On the 15th day of the seventh month shall be the festival of Sukkot. The first day is a sacred holiday when you shall do no work and the eighth day shall be a day of rest. On the first day you must take for yourself a fruit of the citron tree, an unopened palm frond, myrtle branches and willows. You shall rejoice before HaShem. During the seven days you shall live in thatched huts. Everyone in Israel must live in thatched huts so that all will know what it was like when I brought you out of Egypt.
Aaron shall light the lamp before HaShem outside the cloth partition in the Communion Tent. The lamp will be lit from evening to morning and will be of pure gold.
You shall take the finest grade of wheat flour and bake it into 12 loaves. Arrange these into two stacks of 6 each. Place frankincense alongside these stacks as a fire offering to HaShem. The loaves shall be arranged before HaShem each Shabbat.
The son of an Israelite woman and an Egyptian man went out among the people and had an argument with one of the people in the camp. He said the name of HaShem with a curse. The people brought him to Moses and kept him under guard until a penalty could be found out from HaShem. HaShem said to Moses: Take him out of the camp and let all who heard him curse place their hand on his head. The entire community shall then stone him to death. Tell my people: Anyone who curses HaShem shall bear his sin. But, if one blasphemes the name of HaShem they shall be put to death. One that takes another human life shall be put to death. If one kills an animal, he shall pay for the value of it. There is one law for the native born and the people who join you.
This week’s Parsha talks about the holidays and the different laws that the Kohen must observe to keep themselves and the nation holy.
In the Haftara the Prophet Ezekiel talked to the Kohen who served in the sanctuary about their duties.
- Thirty-First of 54 Sedras in the Torah
- Written on 215 lines in the Sefer Torah
- 124 P’sukim (verses)
- 1,614 words
- 6,106 letters
Next week’s Parashat: BeHar