This Sabbath, Jewish congregations begin reading the third book of the Bible, which is concerned almost exclusively with ritual matters: sacrifices, purity and impurity, dietary restrictions, and the like. Many of these laws apply exclusively to the kohanim—the members of the priestly caste made up of descendants of Aaron—rather than to the Israelites as a whole. So why, asks Jeffrey Tigay, include them all in the Torah?
The Democratic Ethos in the Book of Leviticus
Germany’s Bid to Keep Israel off the UN Security Council
The Jewish state has never held a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. For the first 50 years of its existence, it was denied membership in any of the UN’s regional groups, which control candidacies for these rotating seats. Then it was finally admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which promptly agreed to wait another twenty years before approving Jerusalem for a Security Council candidacy. Now, Benny Avni notes, Germany is poised to block action: