Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim

(After Death-Holy Ones)

Leviticus 16:1 - 20:27

Amos 9:7 - 9:15

In the Torah portion Achrei Mot, God speaks to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who were killed for coming too close to the presence of God. God instructs Moses and Aaron on the procedures surrounding Yom Kippur. God describes all the laws surrounding sexual prohibitions. In Kedoshim, God describes to Moses many ethical and ritual laws aimed at helping people live lives of holiness. The laws described include some of those recorded in the Ten Commandments, such as respecting one’s parents, keeping the Sabbath and not stealing. God also introduces laws about farming and about belief in supernatural beings.

FULL SUMMARY OF ACHREI MOT

FULL SUMMARY OF KEDOSHIM

Do Not Open This Napkin

Holiness and secrecy are intricately enmeshed in the Torah.

More on this Torah Portion

Reading The Prohibition Against Homosexuality In Context

The sexual relationships forbidden by the Torah are intended to prohibit non-Israelite religious practices and abuses of power.

Yom Kippur All Year Long

The proper observance of Yom Kippur, including repentance and introspection, should bring us nearer to God all year long.

The Law of the Farm

This portion teaches us that there are no easy fixes to the complex problems that face our social systems.

When Leaders Have Moral Failings

The commandment to the priests to purify themselves of sin before God reminds us to hold our leaders accountable to act ethically.

The Threat And Promise Of Conformity

We can learn from and adopt only those practices foreign to Judaism that enhance and strengthen Jewish practice.

Reconciling Biblical Morality with Our Own

Assumptions in Leviticus 18 are in some cases abhorrent to contemporary sensibilities.

The Sanctity Of Elemental Relationships

The juxtaposition of laws about the high priest on Yom Kippur, forbidden sexual relationships and laws about blood teach the sanctity of basic parts of life.

The Living Have Work to Do

Seeking meaning in the sudden deaths of Aaron's sons.

From Far And Near

We can reach God by engaging with the world around us and connecting to others and the earth.

Gleanings From Our Own Blessings

Though it may be hard to see at times, we all have abundant blessings, and even a surplus, if only we could notice it.

Food Choices

This week's text connects food to the idea of holiness, which leads us to ask: What is holy about food?

Say No To Revenge And Grudges

When we bear a grudge or take revenge, we do not allow other people to say they are sorry and fix their mistakes.

Scapegoating

Achrei Mot: A resource for families.

The Holiness of Our Bodies

Kedoshim: A resource for families.

Do Women Experience Holiness Differently?

Parashat Kedoshim teaches us the ways to be holy. But do women have a different understanding of what holiness is?

After Death, Holy

We always have the opportunity to rise above our human flaws.

Parashat Achrei Mot Quiz

Learn more about the weekly Torah portion.

Parashat Kedoshim Quiz

Learn more about the weekly Torah portion.

Stumbling Blocks of Consumerism

We need to learn to produce, sell, and consume fewer unnecessary products.

Intentional Intervention

We must learn to offer hand-ups instead of hand-outs.

Raising Up the Physical

How to develop a healthy relationship with the material world.

The Strangers in the Camp

Both the Israelite and the stranger are given equal status in the sacrificial cult.

Planting for the Future

Parashat Kedoshim teaches us to preserve our natural resources.

Kedoshim

Leviticus 19:1-20:27

Ahare Mot

Leviticus 16:1-18:30

Does Holiness Come from Self-Restraint?

We achieve nobility and holiness through practicing self-restraint.

Being Holy

The commandment to be holy permeates every other commandment, fills in gaps between commandments, and infuses every human action.

Constructive Criticism

The commandment to rebuke one another teaches the importance of mutual responsibility.

Kilayim Pie?

The prohibition against interbreeding animals and plants raises questions about the kashrut of genetically modified foods.

Weaving Together Ritual and Ethics

Only through the combination of ritual and ethics can Judaism fully express itself.

Parashat Achrei Mot: Summary

God instructs Moses regarding the procedures for the Day of Atonement; sexual prohibitions are then listed.

The Nature Of Holiness

The commandment to be holy raises questions about our responsibilities towards community and our relationships with God.

The Limits Of Spirituality

Nadav and Avihu died in an act of sanctification; our goal should be to sanctify God through our lives, not our deaths.

A New Look At Philanthropy

The commandment to leave behind some of the harvest for the poor challenges our assumptions about to whom the food belongs in the first place.