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.The location of these laws at the conclusion of the Book of Leviticus led the sages of the Midrash to see them as hinting at a serious and painful practice that was prevalent among idol worshipers in ancient times: human sacrifice. The Torah’s attitude toward this is explicit. It finds this practice abhorrent and is unequivocally against the very idea.In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses gives a speech before the nation which is about to enter the Land of Israel, and he warns them: “When the Lord your God cuts off the nations to which you will come to drive them out from before you... beware... lest you inquire about their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? And I will do likewise. You shall not do so to the Lord your God; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates, they did to their gods, for also their sons and their daughters they would burn in fire to their gods” (12:29-31).God’s attitude toward the idea of human sacrifice is clear-cut: abomination and loathing. It is inconceivable. But let us ask, how could a person even come up with such a strange and terrible idea as sacrificing a human being? How could someone think, if even for a moment, that he should burn his child in fire? The German philosopher Georg Simmel (1858-1918), in his book Sociology of Religion, distinguished between “religion” and “religiosity.” Religion is an established framework of laws and norms in accordance with which a community of people behaves. Religiosity is a religious experience of yearning for the lofty, the transcendent; a sense of longing for something that is outside the realm of common phenomena. This religious experience is the emotional basis for conducting a relationship with God. But religious experiences are not risk-free. They have the potential to become wild, explosive, warping thought and moral judgment. We do not have to look far to find examples of this. Even in the 21st century, there are those who slaughter innocent people in the name of God. This evil is based on unrestrained religious fervor, unconstrained by a system of God-given rules.In order for such a religious experience not to lead to warped thoughts and morals, the Torah repeatedly emphasizes the foundations of morality and justice. Thus, after the amazing event at Mount Sinai, when the entire nation experienced Divine revelation, we find a collection of halachot dealing with proper relationships between people. Thus, the Supreme Court, the Great Sanhedrin, was adjacent to the Temple in Jerusalem. The loftiest of religious experiences cannot be disconnected from the commandments and laws that realize it, and which also limit it and stop it from extending to immoral acts.At the end of the Book of Leviticus, which deals with laws pertaining to sacrifices, the Torah sets up a warning sign in the form of worth. If religious experience leads a person to the extreme idea of wanting to sacrifice to God a person precious to him, he must not carry out such a horrendous act. Instead, he can donate money to the Temple, a sum that can express his religious experience but that will maintain the moral principles that Judaism stands for and protects tenaciously.The writer is the rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites.