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A Burning Desire to Be Close

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“Its entrails and legs shall be washed with water, and the priest shall turn the whole into smoke on the altar as a burnt offering, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:9).

The time has come to open the third Book of the Torah, Vayikra, and at first glance, it seems quite different from the narratives of the first two books. Unlike Bereshit, which opens up with the creation of the world, or Shemot, which opens up with the evil decrees of the Egyptians against the Israelites, Vayikra opens up with instructions for performing animal sacrifices.

And the instructions are quite graphic. We are presented with detailed descriptions of numerous types of animals being slaughtered, blood being sprinkled on the altar, the removal of the dead animal’s innards, and pieces or whole animals being burned on the altar. And if that weren’t enough, we’re told that the smell of the burning flesh of the animal is actually quite pleasing to God.

Just to be fully transparent, I’m the type of person that has........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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