This Week’s Torah Portion: Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

Name: Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

Reading: Acharei Mot: Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30; Kedoshim: Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27

Bonus Feature: Double Parasha!

Parsha Summary – Acharei-Mot Kedoshim

The Rituals of Yom Kippur

God tells Moses to command Aaron not to approach the Holy of Holies, because He appears in the cloud over the ark’s cover. He may only enter when he is dressed in his priestly finery, and then he will make sacrifices to atone for the Israelites’ sins. He is instructed to take two goats, and confess Israel’s sins over one and release it, and sacrifice the other with other animals. These rituals will be a permanent statute on the tenth day of the seventh month, which will be a day of affliction to cleanse your souls from your sins.

Do Not Eat Blood

God forbids the Israelites from eating any form of blood, for blood gives life, and because blood is used in purifying rituals in the Sanctuary. Do not eat blood from animals or birds that are hunted or that die of natural causes, as your soul will be cut off from the people.

Do not behave in the way the Egyptians behaved: keep My commands for I am the Lord your God.

Laws of Forbidden Sexual Relationships

Do not uncover the nakedness of your parents, your sister, your granddaughter, your aunt, your daughter-in-law, or your brother’s wife. Do not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, or her daughter’s children, or a woman and her sister. Do not sleep with a woman on her period, or with your neighbour’s wife.  Do not lie with a man as you would with a woman; do not lie with an animal.

You Should be Holy

God commands the people of Israel to be holy, then gives a list of commands to make them holy.

They include:

  • Fear your parents
  • Keep the Sabbath
  • Do not worship idols
  • Make sacrifices according to My instructions
  • Leave the corners of your fields when harvesting for the poor and for strangers
  • Don’t steal
  • Don’t deal falsely
  • Don’t lie
  • Don’t swear falsely in My name
  • Do not curse the death or put a stumbling block before the blind
  • Judge fairly
  • Don’t snitch or stand by the blood of other people
  • Don’t take revenge
  • Do not eat the fruit of new trees
  • Do not eat blood
  • Do not practice divination or magic
  • Have fair scales and balances
  • Do not curse your parents
  • Do not commit adultery