The Stranger and the Sacred

Passover – The Torah
Leviticus 19

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Ceremonial and moral laws are considered again, as in Exodus and Deuteronomy. First on the list is honoring of father and mother. Four times Jesus quotes the second half of v. 18 as a summary of all the commandments with respect to our neighbor (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27).

The manner of treating strangers is very sacred in the life of a Jew. Respect for them is due because the Jew was a stranger in the land of Egypt. The stranger and the sacred were very much understood together. Benedict, born about 480 A.D., the founder of western monasticism, stated in his Rule: Hospes venit, Christus venit. “A stranger comes, Christ comes.” The spirituality of Leviticus interprets all things as either connected to God, the sacred, or disconnected from God, the profane. Doing the will of God means that all choices are in keeping with what the Lord calls the person to be. Everything is potentially sacred.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Holy, for You are holy. v. 2
“Love your neighbor as yourself”. v. 8
“Hospes venit, Christus venit.” St. Benedict
Loving to keep sabbath time v. 29

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for the version for children and families.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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