VAYIKRA (LEVITICUS 1:1- 5:26)
This week is the first parshah of Leviticus, and here we leave the “easier” to read books of Genesis and Exodus and get into the long and repeating instructions for sacrifice, priestly, rituals, and eating. This is where I always start to lose interest in my Torah reading quests every year. I find myself a little ashamed to admit that. In Genesis and Exodus there are these stories I feel I can so much more easily work to interpret and extrapolate- Leviticus feel like list and summaries and laws and rigid structure. I get that there’s a necessity for it too- I do understand the importance of ritual- keeping Jewish rituals in particular- I feel like this is particularly important for spiritual growth. But, also, a part of me struggles with it. And this in-between area where this week begins is well put in this Keshet commentary by Noach Dzmura- “Being Jewish for me—and for many other queer Jews—means finding balance in a nexus of oppositions: the dance between (on the one hand) support or imprisonment by the rigid structure of the law, and (on the other hand) liberation or rejection by interpretive traditions.” …”I exist on multiple margins.” Yup. That. Let’s go Leviticus. This year I got you.