Sunday, August 10, 2014

Leviticus: Chapter 21

The limits of closeness

Where can you connect

When you can't go outside

The limits of perfection

[For full chapter, click here
The laws limiting the kohanim (priests). Having defined the space "inside," the connection to the "outside
 of the Tend of Meeting becomes more circumscribed."Bringing close" the "offerings" (korban) means that the priests cannot be close (k'r'b) to as many people. They can only come into contact with the dead for blood relations who are "close" (karev, karov. These relationships are male-centric. Bonds to sisters exist only so long as no man has entered the equation, breaking the bonds of blood ). 
 The "filling" (milui) of the high-priest leaves no room for other connections. He cannot "go outside" (lo yetze) the Dwelling, not even to mourn his own family. The woman he marries must also have never come into contact with the outside: "A woman in her virginity must he take."
The priests themselves must  be perfect--any physical flaws limits their ability to go "inside"]

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