Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 

Leviticus (Vayikra)

There are 613 commandments which are described in the Five Books. Of those, 246 appear in Leviticus. That's a big chunk of the Torah. Dozens of these Mitzvos might seem to be very strange, as most of them are impossible to perform in our generation.

Which Mitzvos are in this book? Mainly the numerous instructions concerning the performance of the Temple service, the laws dealing with Tzara'as, and the process of purification from the spiritual uncleanliness they leave behind.

So why do these laws take up so much space in a book that's supposed to be relevant for every generation?

For one thing, there was a period of more than 1,400 years when either the tabernacle or Temple stood, which made these intricate Halachos (laws) essential.

Secondly, although one might think that the laws are useless now, the other perspective is that the very absence of a Temple gives these laws and their study added importance. We are taught by our rabbis that the study of these parts of the Torah and the oral law almost stands in place of their observance. In other words, we can't bring any offerings to the Temple, but by learning about their performance, it's the next best thing.

Leviticus ends with a strong and eloquent warning to the Jewish people to keep the commandments.... or else.


Rabbi Boruch Clinton teaches at the Ottawa Torah Institute yeshiva high school and Machon Sarah high school for girls (both in Ottawa, Canada). You may reach him with comments and questions at bclinton@torah.org.

You can now read some of Rabbi Clinton's essays on Torah life at http://www.ncf.ca/~es625/essays

You can also buy his collection of essays on the Book of Shmuel (Samuel) in printed form at www.lulu.com/marbitzmedia

Copyright 2000 by Rabbi Boruch Clinton and Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Leaving... a Good Impression
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

The Triumph of Quality Over Quantity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Point of Order
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

> Turn, Turn, Turn...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

O Chanukah, O Chanukah . . .
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Can You Pass The Test?
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Growing Forever
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Basic Concepts and Laws
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Shedding Light on the Identity Crisis
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

ArtScroll

Tightening the Hellenistic Screws: A History of Chanukah, Part I
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5774

Natural Miracles
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

The Key To Something More
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Time to Be Silent
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Every Last Drop
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Bread Is for Eating
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

The Light of Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information