VaYikra (Leviticus)The Book of Leviticus, or Levites, is concerned with the ritual laws and the sacrificial cult. It describes the details of offering sacrifices. The book's emphasis is on purity and holiness. Even though the sacrificial system was abandoned with the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE, Leviticus continued to be an important influence on Jewish life: nearly half of the 613 commandments are found in it and much of the Talmud is based on it. In Europe, it was traditional for children beginning their Jewish learning to start with the book of Va-Yikra. There are twenty-seven chapters, divided into ten parashiyot. The parashiyot of Va-Yikra are: VaYikra, Tzav, Shemini, Tazria, Metzora, Achare Mot, Kedoshim, Emor, Behar, and Bechukotai.

Achare Mot

Aharei Mot-Kedoshim: Planting is connecting something at its root.

Acharei Mot begins 'after the death' of Aaron's sons Nadav and Abihu and proceeds with a lengthy elucidation of the laws of Yom Kippur, directed to Aaron and the priests. The service is described, including the sequence of sacrificial offering, ritual purification, expiation, and the sending of the 'scapegoat' into the wilderness. Further rules are then given about offerings, including the prohibition against the consumption of blood, and other dietary laws. Finally, the parasha presents a list of forbidden sexual relationships, concluding with the general prohibition against following the abhorrent practices of other nations.

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