30 Acharei mot/Kedoshim


 וַיְדַבֵּר יהוה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה אַחֲרֵי מ֔וֹת שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן בְּקָרְבָתָם לִפְנֵי־יהוה וַיָּמֻתוּ׃

Now the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the Lord, and died;





Brit Chadasha

April 24th, 2021

Acharei mot “After Death”
Kdoshim “Holy”


Ezek 22: 1-19

Gal 3:10-14
Heb. 7:23-10:25

 This week, we read two parashot from Leviticus: Acharei Mot and Kdoshim. Taken together, they cover five clearly defined topics. Acharei Mot deals with the rituals of the high priest on Yom Kippur; regulations governing the animals’ offering for sacrifice and animals for food. The subject of various sexual relations, especially incest is resumed at the end of Kedoshim.

The laws of prohibited sexual relations are tied to holiness, for they are preceded and followed by the admonition: “Make yourselves holy and be holy, for I am the Lord your God” (20:7) and “Be holy for me, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Holiness seems to involve both a moral and a ritual state: it is to be pursued, in some cases; and to be avoided—or at least, treated cautiously—in others.

But the chapter doesn’t begin “Be moral, for I the Lord your God am moral” or “Be righteous, for I the Lord your God am righteous.” It begins “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Indeed, everything that surrounds Chapter 19 is about holiness. Our double parashah begins by instructing Aaron not to enter the most holy area of the Tabernacle whenever he chooses but only once a year, under particular conditions, subject to a penalty of death.
 Holiness is not only an ideal state to be strived for but a force to be treated with caution.