Saturday, October 4, 2014

Parshat Bechukotai, 6th Portion (Leviticus 27:22-27:28), May 16, 2014

I think there is confusion in my family, and in my own mind, with this Bar Mitzvah I'm working toward. Some people become a Jew or a Buddhist or whatever with a lot of pride. I was imagining how I'd give a talk at my Bar Mitzvah and explain how I'm proud to be many things, but most of all a human being.

When I hear people say "Jews do this" I wonder what regular folks do? I heard a rabbi talk about forgiveness today as part of a Yon Kippur event. He said that Jews must ask for forgiveness three times. It isn't enough, either, to ask in the same way three times. All of this is well and good, but I wish it was about being a human being, and not just being a Jew.

My parents didn't expose us to Judaism. I think they had different reasons for this. My dad wished to protect us. He believed that our chances would be best in the world being part of the human race rather than part of an ethnic/religious sect. He was friends with the whole gamut of the race, from Arabs (he spoke Arabic), to Christians, and finally to atheists and agnostics (which he claimed he was). My mom, on the other hand, thought that religion was backward and that it was opposed to her independence. She considered herself a rank individualist. Which she was.

The question is not what Buddha would do, not what Jesus would do, or not what a Jew would do? It is what would you do?

This reading in the Torah continues the rules for consecrating land to the Lord. It distinguishes between consecrating land that you acquire and land that you inherit, and how they are treated differently.

Then is says that since the firstborn animal belongs to the Lord that you shouldn't consecrate it since it already belongs to the Lord. I guess that would be double dealing.

Some of this seems to be about supporting the Kohanim.

“However, anything that a man devotes to the Lord from any of his property whether a person, an animal, or part of his inherited field shall not be sold, nor shall it be redeemed, [for] all devoted things are holy of holies to the Lord.” —Leviticus 17:28

This seems to contradict earlier verses. I don't understand why.

Here's some of the commentary, showing that the devil isn't in the really can be sold.

“...For all agree that devoted property specifically designated to kohanim does not have any redemption, until it falls into the possession of the kohen [and the property then becomes completely non-consecrated and can even be sold by the kohen (Sifthei Chachamim)]. Devoted property to the One on High [i.e., specifically designated to the maintenance of the Holy Temple, on the other hand], may be redeemed [at its market value even before it reaches the Temple treasury, and its redemption moneys go for maintenance of the Holy Temple, and the property itself then becomes non-consecrated].” —Sifthei Chachamim ; Arachin 29a

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. One cannot study the Torah alone.