Leviticus

Acharei Mot – Kedoshem

  • Parsha
  • 2 min read

We have a double portion this week. The 29th reading Acharei Mot אַֽחֲרֵ֣י מ֔וֹת and the 30th reading Kedoshem קְדשִׁ֣ים are combined to create our third double reading during the annual reading cycle, also it is the second in Leviticus (Vayikra). This double reading occurs in the years 2021, 2023, 2025, 2026, 2028, 2029, 2031, 2032,  and 2034.

Acharei Mot/ Kedoshim parsha summary

Acharei Mot reaches back to chapter ten and picks up the narrative “from the death” of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. God speaks to Moses to instruct Aaron concerning the Yom Kippur service. God continues His discourse, this time His instructions are addressed to Aaron, his sons and all of Israel about eating the blood of animals. Afterwards, God provides instruction the to entire nation concerning sexual relationships. This ends parsha Acharei Mot.

Name: Leviticus is the third book of the English Bible and it’s base Hebrew text corresponds to the third book of Torah called Vayikra וַיִּקְרָא . The first appearance of this Hebrew word is in Genesis 1.5. Vayikra can be spelled four different ways; (1) Vayikra (2) Va Yikra (3) Va-yika (4) Wayyiqra.

The first time “Leviticus” is used to refer to this text was by the seventy-two Jewish translators of the Greek Septuagint (LXX). Later Jerome, using the Septuagint, used this name in his Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale depended heavily upon the Latin Vulgate and Luther’s German translations; so continued the tradition of calling this text “Leviticus”. Vayikra is translated as “and called“.

The Rabbis refer to the third book of Torah as “Vayikra” וַיִּקְרָא because it is the first word in the text. The oldest name for this book is תורת כהנים The Law of the Priests“.