Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

April 18, 1986 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Lesson Of Leviticus:
Cleansing Our Sins

bruce m. weiss

26325 Twelve Mile Rd.

Southeast corner Northwestern

Behind Gabe's Fruits
I The Mayfair Shops

Mon: Sat. 10-5:30'
Thurs. 10-8:30

If someone were to ask: "What
book is on the best seller list
year after year?" Obviously,
most people would answer: "The
Bible.". Certainly• the Bible is
the most bought book in re-
corded history.
The second question would be:
"What is your favorite Book in
the Bible?" To this question,
there would be a multiplicity of
answers. Some might say: "The
Book of Psalms," with its God-
drenched verses. Some might
answer: "The Book of Ruth,"
with its emphasis on love and
loyalty. Some might say: "The
Book of Job" with its eternal
question: "Why do the good suf-
fer, and why do the wicked pro-
Finally, the third question
would be: "What is the least

Leviticus 14:1-15:33.
Malachai 3:4-24.

favorite Book in the Bible?" To
this question, there would prob-
ably be an almost unbroken
unanimity of opinion. Most
people would agree that the
Book of Leviticus is the least
favorite and the least read.
From its opening pages it seems
to be an unceasing, boring reci-
tal of laws and rituals regarding
the animal sacrifices that were
brought in ancient times.
Yet, would it surprise you to
know that when a Jewish child
began to study the Torah, the
first book to which he was. ex-
posed was this very Book of
Leviticus? The reason was that
little -children, who are still
clean of hands and pure of
heart, should begin their educa-
tion by reading the Book of
leviticus which deals with clean-
With that thought in mind,
let us read the opening verses of
this week's Sidra. "This shall be
the law of the leper in the day
of his cleansing: he shall be
brought unto the priest ... then
shall the priest command for
him that is to be cleansed, two
living clean birds. And the
priest shall command to kill one
of the birds ... and let go the
living bird into the open field."
What a marvelous lesson is to
be found in these brief verses.
The dead bird symbolized that
the disease of leprosy was now
also dead in the victim. The bird
that was to be let free sym-
bolized that a new life of free-
dom was available to the re-
stored leper.
Apply that to life. According
to Judaism, nobody is perfect. In
the Book of Ecclesiastes we
read: "Ayn tsadeek . . . There is
no man so righteous that he
never sins." We have within us
the yaytser ha-toy, and the
yaytser ha-rah. — the good in-
clination, and the •evil incline-


tion. There are times when the
evil inclination is victorious.
Every day we read about
people who are found guilty of
stealing, of cheating, of conniv-
ing to enrich themselves
through illegal means. Why do
they do it? Why do they disgrace
themselves, and bring shame to
their families? There is no one
definitive answer. In biblical
language, "They have been
afflicted with the disease of lep-
rosy." Like the ancient leper,
they are placed "outside the .
camp." Some of them are sent to
prison, and removed from
But there comes a time when
they are cleansed, when their
isolation ends, when thty are
returned to society. When that
happens, it devolves upon all of
us to Welcome them back, not to
remind them of their past sins,
and to remember that nobody is
permanently good, and nobody
is perpetually wicked.
In our journey through the
desert of life, there are times
when we are tempted to follow
"leprous paths." When that oc-
curs, let us remember the story
of 'the two birds found in the
Book of Leviticus. Let our "good
inclination" always triumph,
and like the soaring bird, help
us to rise above temptation, to
lift ourselves out of the mud,
and to live on the high ground
of idealism and nobility.

7 Day Cruise from
Los Angeles to Mexico

cruise only


for the Humanities.


America Line


Valid for up to $900.00 off
I on Deluxe Cabins for
I selected sailing dates.

626-7007 •
• 626-7000
••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Cruise lines

Cruise Cash
P to

Cincinnati (JTV)
minute film is being planned for
PBS television about Ludwig '
Lewisohn, regarded as a. major
figure in American letters and:, ,
. l
Jewish life. The
Jewish Archives of the Hebrew
Union College-Jewish Institute
of Religion is formulating plans
for the script,* under a grant
from the National Endowment

Between 12 & 13 Mile Roads, Farmington Hills

ID 1986 Delta PJe Lines. Inc.

New York (JTA) — The First
community-wide conference in
New York on "Lesbians and Gay
Jews in the Jewish Community"
— sponsored by 11 synagogues
and seven local chapters or di-
visions of national Jewish
organizations — will be held
The conference will bring to-
gether rabbis, gay activists and
parents of gay people, govern- 1
ment officials, academics, social'
workers and members of the
general public to discuss the re
lationship between Jewish
homosexuals and the Jewish!

Clothes • • •
• • Hank's

Delta Air Lines and its 39,000 professionals
extend best wishes to you and your family.
May your Passover season be filled with happiness.

Gay Conference
In New York

Lewisohn Script




Special to The Jewish News

• •
• •


To all of 'our
friends and clients


Are you a member of
an active group
•or organization?


We need qualified
group leaders for
selected sailing dates



24901 NortInuestern Hwy.
fat Evergreen)

in the Fidelity Heritage Bldg.

Back to Top

© 2022 Regents of the University of Michigan