Topic: Philosophy, Torah

Vayikra artwork by Darius GilmontFocusing on some of the world’s most profound stories, the Shiv’im Panim (“70 Faces”) series highlights 70 text selections from the Jewish Bible Based on the tradition that Torah has “70 faces,” or ways to interpret and understand it. The curriculum features a multi-faceted approach to Torah study incorporating:

  • Modern and classical commentaries
  • Interpretations by rabbis, scholars, artists, and poets
  • Key Hebrew vocabulary
  • Discussions of the real-life implications the stories have for us in our time

Chosen by the Rabbinic sages as the book to initiate children into their Bible studies, contemporary readers often perceive the Book of Vayikra as inaccessible. Yet embedded in the laws focusing on sacrificial practices, purity, impurity, and the pursuit of holiness, are messages and values that have great relevance to the universal condition. In this biblical work, we will examine topics such as the Jewish response to tragedy, the role of ritual, parenthood, forgiveness, individual and communal priorities, and the how-to of bringing sanctity into activities of daily living. Through a textual study of selected passages, this course uncovers the depth and wisdom of the third book of Torah revealing enduring messages that touch our lives to this very day.

Table of Contents

Lesson 1 - Challenges and Opportunities in Studying Vayikra

Lesson 2 - Korbanot: Drawing Near to God

Lesson 3 - The Joyous Fire of Acceptance and the Tragic Fireof Death

Lesson 4 - How can the Sacred Moment of Birth Involve “Tumah”?

Lesson 5 - Lots, Goats, And Azazel? Yom Kippur Biblical Style

Lesson 6 - Kedushah: Holiness For All

Lesson 7 - Counting up: Holiness in Time

Lesson 8 - Crime and Punishment: Holiness Threatened

Lesson 9 - Shabbat for the Land, for God and …Holiness for You!

Lesson 10 - Blessings and Curses: A Call to Follow God’s Ways

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