Skip to main content

Shemini and The Fires of Revenge

Leviticus is about rules.  The Torah sets out to govern our lives by legislating even the most insignificant of details.  This week we read about keeping kosher.  This might appear remote and far from our concerns.  And yet the Torah’s contention in general, and Leviticus in particular, is that every detail of our lives matters to God.

These laws suggest that the way to create a civilized, and ordered, society begins with the most mundane of activities.  Otherwise we may very well, like Aaron’s sons, create a self-consuming “alien fire.” (Leviticus 10)

This past week we read reports of an Israeli soldier killing a wounded Palestinian terrorist....