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Sh'mini

Sh'mini

The Eighth [Day]
Leviticus
9:1-11:47

On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel. - Leviticus 9:1

Summary: 
  • Aaron and his sons follow Moses' instructions and offer sacrifices so that God will forgive the people. (9:1-24)
  • Two of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, offer "alien fire" to God. God punishes these two priests by killing them immediately. (10:1-3)
  • God forbids Moses, Aaron, and his surviving sons from mourning but commands the rest of the people to do so. Priests are told not to drink alcohol before entering the sacred Tabernacle and are further instructed about making sacrifices. (10:4-20)
  • Laws are given to distinguish between pure and impure animals, birds, fish, and insects. (11:1-47)

When do we read Sh'mini?

2017 Apr 22 /26 Nisan, 5777

RECENT COMMENTARY

  • By Elyse Goldstein

    On Wednesday, August 7th, 1974, a 24-year-old Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out onto a steel wire strung across the 130-foot gap between the tops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York — close to 1,350 feet above the ground. After a 45-minute performance he was asked, "Weren't you afraid that you were going to die?" While conceding, he replied, "If I die, what a beautiful death, to die in the exercise of your passion."

    Parashat Sh'mini contains the important and troubling story of Nadab and Abihu. It is the eighth day of the ceremony of consecrating the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the priests. Aaron and his sons have been sacrificing animals all week long. Fire comes down from heaven and consumes the offerings, and all is going according to plan. Suddenly Nadab and Abihu, two of Aaron's sons, bring an additional offering of incense, which had not been commanded. They are immediately consumed by Divine fire; their bodies are dragged... Continue Reading

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