Parashat Ahare Mot

The Sanctity Of Elemental Relationships

The juxtaposition of laws about the high priest on Yom Kippur, forbidden sexual relationships and laws about blood teach the sanctity of basic parts of life.

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This is paralleled with the prohibitions against spilling animal blood without the attendant ritual of burying it, and against eating blood, which function as the bridge between the opening and closing sections of the parashah. Blood, the life force, the symbol of life itself, must be related to with dignity, respect, and care, just as our intimate relationship with God, and our intimate human relationships must be.

The Torah, in these three sections, is delineating for us an attitude, a world view, which relates to the most basic and powerful acts in our lives with sanctity, respect, attention, and spirituality. To relate to these elemental relationships and experiences in a casual, off-handed fashion would, in effect, define our lives themselves as casual, and of little significance.

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Rabbi Shimon Felix

Rabbi Shimon Felix is the Israel Director of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel. He lives with his family in Jerusalem, and has taught in a wide variety of educational frameworks in Israel and abroad.