Commentary on Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1 - 20:27
Provided by the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, exploring through the original sources.
1. God told Moses that the children of Israel must be holy. Why?
2. When a peace offering was sacrificed, by when did it have to be completely eaten?
3. When reaping the harvest of the land, we are commanded to leave what for whom?
4. The wages of a hired servant must be paid by when?
5. What is the meaning of the commandment to not put a stumbling block before the blind?
6. In a case between a wealthy and a poor person, who is to be favored in judgment? Explain.
7. We are told not to be talebearers, and not to stand idly by the blood of our neighbor. What does this mean and how are the two connected?
8. What is meant by "thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor and not bear sin because of him"?
9. Describe the process of planting and harvesting fruit trees in the Land of Israel.
10. We are commanded to treat the stranger the same as whom? Why?
11. According to this week’s parashah, what will be the penalty if the Children of Israel do not follow God’s commandments?
1. The children of Israel were told to be holy in order to follow God’s ways, for He is Holy (19:2).
2. A peace offering had to be eaten by the end of the second day, or it was to be destroyed (19:5-6).
3. We are commanded to leave the corner of the field and the gleanings of the field for the poor and the stranger (19:8-9).
4. The wages of a hired servant had to be paid by the end of the day; they may not be withheld over night (19:13).
5. Various answers are acceptable. One answer could be that we may not take advantage of one who is less knowledgeable than we are (19:14).
6. Neither one should be favored–not the wealthy person due to his influence, nor the poor person because he is in need of assistance or because he is the underdog (19:15).
7. The rabbis compare evil speech (Lashon Hara) to murder, because harming someone’s reputation can be worse than taking his life.
8. In “thou shalt surely rebuke,” God commands us to advise our neighbor if he is not following God’s commandments, to let him know the potential consequences of his ways. From “not bear sin” we learn that we must do this in a kind and loving manner (19:17).
9. We are forbidden to eat the fruit during the first 4 years after the tree was planted. During the 4th year, all the fruit is considered fit for God and holy. In the 5th year, the fruit can be eaten (19:23-25).
10. The stranger among the Israelites must be treated the same as one born an Israelite. This is because we were strangers in the land of Egypt, and must remember what that was like (19:33-34)
11. If they do not follow God’s commandments they will be ‘vomited out of the land’ (20:22).
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Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.