Sunday, March 27, 2016

Parshat Shemini, 1st Portion, Leviticus 9:1-16, March 27, 2016

“And they took what Moses had commanded, to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the entire community approached and stood before the Lord. 
And Moses said, “This is the thing the Lord has commanded; do [it], and the glory of the Lord will appear to you.” (Leviticus 9:5-6)
Three points for Moses. He corrects the narrative—that the command was not his but the Lord’s. We mistakenly believe our teachings are our teachings, when really they belong to something much bigger than we are. At best, we discover them. And these universal teachings are discovered over and over again? Nothing is new since Aristotle, as the saying goes.

When Buddha died, he didn’t believe that he’d be replaced by another teacher, but rather by the teachings. And for Buddha, it is our experience that verifies those teachings. 

One could take the commandments as self-evident truths for a sane society that are discovered from time to time. It should be the commandments that we follow, not because they were given by the Lord, but because they seem to jive with our best judgement.


  1. Excellent point. Even some of the dietary laws may be healthy.


  2. We could sit down and discuss this some time for a few days. H.


Thanks for commenting. One cannot study the Torah alone.