Vayikra Reconsidered: Study, Gift and Sacrifice

Posted by Leon Morris on March 12, 2018
Topics: Pardes from Jerusalem, 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

Rabbi Leon Morris is the President of Pardes and is the first alumnus to head the institution (Year Program alumnus '94-'95; Summer Program alumnus '93 and '94). Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz (Pardes Year Program alumna '94-'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. Before coming to Pardes, Leon served as a Vice President for Israel Programs at the Shalom Hartman Institute and was a faculty member at Hebrew Union College. Click here to read more.

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