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Reading the Bible Very Slowly : Acharei Mot (After the death), Lev. 16:1-18:30 & Kedoshim (Holy ones), Lev. 19:1-20:27

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Acharei Mot, Aharei Mos, or Ahare Moth or Acharei (אַחֲרֵי מוֹת or אַחֲרֵי — Hebrew for “after the death” or “after,” fifth and sixth words or the fifth word, and the first distinctive word or words, in the parshah) is the 29th weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the book of Leviticus. It constitutes Leviticus 16:1–18:30. Jews in the Diaspora generally read it in April or early May.

The lunisolar Hebrew calendar contains up to 55 weeks, the exact number varying between 50 in common years and 54 or 55 in leap years. In leap years (for example, 2014, and 2016), parshah Acharei is read separately on the 29th Sabbath after Simchat Torah. In common years (for example, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018), parshah Acharei is combined with the next parshah, Kedoshim, to help achieve the needed number of weekly readings.

Traditional Jews also read parts of the parshah as Torah readings for Yom Kippur. Leviticus 16, which addresses the Yom Kippur ritual, is the traditional Torah reading for the Yom Kippur morning (Shacharit) service, and Leviticus 18 is the traditional Torah reading for the Yom Kippur afternoon (Minchah) service. Some Conservative congregations substitute readings from Leviticus 19 for the traditional Leviticus 18 in the Yom Kippur afternoon Minchah service.[1] And in the standard Reform High Holidays prayerbook (machzor), Deuteronomy 29:9–14 and 30:11–20 are the Torah readings for the morning Yom Kippur service, in lieu of the traditional Leviticus 16.[2]

The parshah sets forth the law of the Yom Kippur ritual, centralized offerings, blood, and sexual practices.

Kedoshim, K’doshim, or Qedoshim (קְדֹשִׁים — Hebrew for "holy ones,” the 14th word, and the first distinctive word, in the parshah) is the 30th weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the seventh in the book of Leviticus. It constitutes Leviticus 19:1–20:27. Jews in the Diaspora generally read it in late April or May.

The lunisolar Hebrew calendar contains up to 55 weeks, the exact number varying between 50 in common years and 54 or 55 in leap years. In leap years (for example, 2014, and 2016), parshah Kedoshim is read separately. In common years (for example, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018), parshah Kedoshim is combined with the previous parshah, Acharei, to help achieve the needed number of weekly readings.

Some Conservative congregations substitute readings from Leviticus 19 for the traditional reading of Leviticus 18 in the Yom Kippur Minchah service. (See Mahzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Edited by Jules Harlow. United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. ISBN 0-87441-148-3.) And in the standard Reform High Holidays prayerbook (machzor), Leviticus 19:1–4, 9–18, and 32–37 are the Torah readings for the afternoon Yom Kippur service. (Gates of Repentance: The New Union Prayerbook for the Days of Awe. Edited by Chaim Stern, 452–55. New York: Central Conference of American Rabbis, Revised ed. 1996. ISBN 0-88123-069-3.)

Kodashim is also the name of the fifth order in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Babylonian Talmud. The term “kedoshim” is sometimes also used to refer to the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, whom some call “kedoshim” because they fulfilled the mitzvah of Kiddush Hashem.

 

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Monday, April 15, 2013 - 17:00
ARBOR CAFE -- 4210 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland more
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