PARASHAT BEHUKOTAI: Religious experience and its limits

Religious experiences are not risk-free. They have the potential to become wild, explosive, warping thought and moral judgment.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
May 9, 2018 17:18
3 minute read.
A ROSH Hashana card depicts the ‘kohen gadol’ (high priest) pouring oil over the menorah

A ROSH Hashana card depicts the ‘kohen gadol’ (high priest) pouring oil over the menorah. (photo credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL/WIKIMEDIA COMMON)

 
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The Torah portion that concludes the Book of Leviticus is Behukotai. Leviticus is known as Torat Kohanim – meaning it details the halachot, the Jewish laws, relating to kohanim and to their work in the Temple – with its focus on the offering of the sacrifices.

At the end of the portion, we find a list of laws pertaining to worth: a man who vows to give to the Temple his own worth or the worth of someone else has to pay a certain sum, determined by various criteria.

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