Emor 5784: The Perfection Paradox

Posted by Pardes Faculty on May 13, 2024
Topics: Tanakh, Pardes from Jerusalem, Torah, Vayikra (Leviticus), Emor

How do we approach texts in our traditions that seem to discriminate against or exclude certain groups of people?

In this thought-provoking discussion, Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield and Rabbi Haim Shalom wrestle with the disqualification of kohanim (priests) with physical deformities or disabilities from serving in the Temple. We’ll explore how to reconcile such texts with modern values of inclusion while examining the evolving rabbinical perspectives on disability as a social construct. Ultimately, our discussion calls on us to embrace the struggle with difficult traditional texts as an opportunity to renew and deepen our spiritual philosophies.

Rabbi Haim Shalom – Pardes Faculty and Director of Israel Studies
Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield – Pardes Faculty and Host of Pardes from Jerusalem

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