These are such loaded Parshiot! So many things to discuss, it’s hard to pick.
Books can be written in modern politically correct world about the lines devotes to who is allowed to come close to the “congregation of GD”
Books can be also written on the question of a blemished sacrifice and why it is not allowed, yet this stringency brought us to a crisis one day that we still did not overcome.
יז וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר.
|17 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:|
|18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them: Whosoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that bringeth his offering, whether it be any of their vows, or any of their free-will-offerings, which are brought unto the LORD for a burnt-offering;|
|19 that ye may be accepted, ye shall offer a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.|
|20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not bring; for it shall not be acceptable for you.|
|21 And whosoever bringeth a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the LORD in fulfilment of a vow clearly uttered, or for a freewill-offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.|
|22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scabbed, or scurvy, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.|
|23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing too long or too short, that mayest thou offer for a freewill-offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.|
|24 That which hath its stones bruised, or crushed, or torn, or cut, ye shall not offer unto the LORD; neither shall ye do thus in your land.|
|25 Neither from the hand of a foreigner shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these, because their corruption is in them, there is a blemish in them; they shall not be accepted for you.|
Be careful not to offend the other
The blemish in your soul leads to Bar-Kamtza
That blemish can destroy everyone.
One has to examine themselves first before they examine the animal they bring to the House of The Lord. That’s the line that I was, certainly, not the first to think of.
ג שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים, תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, כָּל-מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ: שַׁבָּת הִוא לַיהוָה, בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם.
|3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work; it is a sabbath unto the LORD in all your dwellings.|
The commandment to observe and cherish Shabbat is mentioned explicitly in the Torah in different places at least six times. This includes the specific sacrifices that were made in The Temple, and that are now fulfilled to a certain extent by praying an additional Musaf מוּסָף prayer.
The same Musaf prayer with slight wording variations is prayed during the Holidays, one of which, one can say the most “Jewish” one is coming up. It is also my favorite – Shavuot!
This is a holiday when I can eat dairy with a blessing! And boy, do I make lots of dairy food. Recipes to follow.
|כא וּקְרָאתֶם בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם–כָּל-מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה, לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ: חֻקַּת עוֹלָם בְּכָל-מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם, לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם.||21 And ye shall make proclamation on the selfsame day; there shall be a holy convocation unto you; ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.|
Gather the people in Jerusalem!
Celebrate your achievements, bring the first fruit to the LORD!
Thank your Gd for the blessings He sent you, just don’t stray and you’ll be glad.
“Judaism teaches us not how to die but how to live so that, even in life, we may overcome death, lack of freedom, the enslavement to physical things and moral weakness. Judaism teaches us how to spend every moment of a life marked by moral freedom, thought, aspirations, creativity and achievement, along with the enjoyment of physical pleasures, as one more moment in life’s constant service to the everlasting God.”
(Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch)