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Torah Anthology Vol. 12: Leviticus (Holiness)


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Torah Anthology Vol. 12: Leviticus (Holiness)

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This volume of The Torah Anthology concludes the book of Leviticus (VaYikra). The section here begins with the most basic teachings of Jewish morality and ethics. It concludes the teachings involving hatred, revenge, lying, stealing, cheating, and all other immoral acts. It culminates with the highest expression of Jewish Torah morality, "You must love your neighbor like yourself." The volume then delves into more arcane matters, such as the laws involving forbidden mixtures in clothing, as well as the prohibitions against superstition and black magic. The text then delves into the laws involving Cohen-priests, and the various fine points about the sacrificial system. This book is also noteworthy for one of the most extensive discussions of the Jewish holidays in any English source. There are the laws regarding work on Yom Tov, as well as all the rules involving the holidays that make up the annual Torah cycle. A significant section on business law is also developed in this volume. This includes a detailed discussion of the laws involving interest and usery, as well as the proper Torah rules for finance and investment. The last section in this volume, according to many authorities, was the "Book of The Covenant," that Moses read to the Israelites before they accepted the Torah. It contains bone chilling prophesies of a holocaust that would come about if the Torah was ignored, that are frightening in their implications in modern history. As always the author weaves a masterful tapestry of commentary, law, tales, and explanations. Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.

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