Vayikra Reconsidered: Study, Gift and Sacrifice

Posted by Leon Morris on March 12, 2018
Topics: Pardes from Jerusalem: Weekly Parsha Podcast, Vayikra, Vayikra (Leviticus)


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.

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About Leon Morris

Leon is the President of Pardes. He comes to Pardes from the Shalom Hartman Institute where he was Vice President for North American programs in Israel. He was also on the faculty of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz (Pardes Year Program alumna 1994-95) and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. He was the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El (now the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center) in Manhattan. Click here to read more.

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