The notion of sacrificial offerings was an anathema in the shaping of a modern Jewish life. These most ancient forms of divine service were understood as primitive and outmoded. To the sensibilities of modern Jews attempting to shape a modern Judaism, the primitive nature of animal and grain sacrifices seemed to offer little by way of inspiration or critical ideas. Our age opens us up to new possibilities of meaning that such connections can provide for us. Texts and prayers about sacrifices present us with opportunities to explore the notions of relationship, closeness and distance, gift giving, and the sublimation of violence. Listen now to Rabbi Leon Morris on Vayikra.
There is a handout for this episode. If you’re listening on a podcast provider, see www.elmad.pardes.org for the source sheet.