Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47, Numbers 19:1 - 22

II Samuel 6:1-7:17

In this Torah portion, God commands Aaron and his sons to make the burnt and sin offerings at the Tabernacle. When God accepts the offerings, the people shout with joy. God describes to Moses the laws of kashrut.


Parashat Shemini: When Silence is a Crime

According to one commentator, Aaron’s silence after the death of his sons only comes after he has finished crying.

More on this Torah Portion

The Deepest Response of Love

Why Aaron was silent in the wake of his sons' death.

Eco-Kashrut: Standards for What and How We Eat

Incorporating environmental concerns into to the Jewish dietary laws.

Why Communication Is at the Core of Community

It’s easy to view those who share a different perspective as an enemy. But Jewish tradition pushes us to see something else.

Overcoming And Learning From Our Mistakes

Recognizing our fallibility can lead us to compassion and empathy for our fellow humans, and bring us closer to God and others.

Why Keep Kosher?

Jewish dietary practices allow us to welcome the sacred into our daily lives and into mundane acts.

Giving Sensibly

What we can learn from Nadav and Avihu.

An Abundance of Fish

We do not have the right to drive fish to extinction.

Considering Our Food Choices

This portion challenges us to express our most intimate and deeply held values with every mouthful.

Lessons from the Pig

There is a lot to learn from the long tradition of Jewish aversion to pork.

Death, Grief And Consolation

Reacting to Moses and Aaron's responses to the deaths of Nadav and Avihu provides us with an opportunity to examine our own responses to tragedy.

Boundaries, Sanctity And Silence

Although we can attempt to understand the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, we are ultimately limited and often feel powerless in the face of God.

The Time And Place For Spontaneity

The deaths of Nadav and Avihu, Aaron's sons, teach us the value and also danger of spontaneous religious expression.

From Regulation to Relation

Relationships between the individual and the Divine are indeed possible.

Alcoholism And The Nation Priests

The priestly prohibition against excessive drinking reminds us to support those in our community challenged by alcoholism.

The Role Of The Elders

Several commentators discuss the relationship of the elders to the priests, the people, Moses and God.

Reason is Lost in Anger

In his anger, Moses had lost his reason and knowledge of the law.

Actions Have Consequences

Every action we take produces a reaction.

Challah for Parashat Shmini

The people fell on their faces.

You Are What You Eat

Shemini: A resource for parents.

Parashat Shmini Quiz

Learn more about the weekly Torah portion.

Haftarah for Shmini

David brings the Holy Ark to Jerusalem, Samuel II 6:1-7:17.

Parashat Shmini: Summary

After the dedication of the Tabernacle and the ordination of the priests, two of Aaron's sons bring a strange fire before God and are consumed by fire; God then instructs Moses and Aaron regarding which animals may be eaten.