My Mum's Ancient Family Bible

My Mum's Ancient Family Bible
Kept in the garage of all places for so many years, it's finally been put to good use.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't Touch My Stuff (Leviticus 22-24)

I wonder if God has OCD. He thinks everything is dirty and he doesn't like people handling his stuff. He can't seem to fess up to this so he makes up a bunch of rules instead.

Leviticus 22 deals with who can and who can't handle holy things (such as blessed bread). "Whoever touches anything that is unclean through contact with the dead or a man who has had an emission of semen and whoever touches a creeping thing by which he may be made unclean or a man from whom he may take uncleanness, whatever his uncleanness may be- the person who touches any such shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water" (Lev 22:4-6). This is very vague. What is most unclear to me is if you haven't mastrubated but touch someone who has, are you unclean, too? And how would you be able to tell? I can get a sense if someone hasn't mastrubated in a while but it's harder to tell the other way around.

God lays out the timing of the feast of Passover and a few other holidays in Leviticus 23. One of the weirder ones that's mentioned is on the fifteenth day of the seventh month: the feast of booths. What? During the feast of booths you're supposed to dwell inside booths for seven entire days (and you're supposed to eat as much all-you-can-eat-iceberg-lettuce-based salad as you can). Jewish people should've kept that tradition going. It would be easy to take the whole family to East Side Mario's once a year.

I get excited when I come across a well-known passage in the Bible. We finally get some semi-satisfying context for the whole "eye for an eye" thing in Leviticus 24. There's this Israelite woman who had a kid by an Egyptian guy and her kid uses the name of God to blaspheme so God tells everyone to stone him. As a matter of fact, anyone who blasphemes should be put to death, says God. He goes on to proclaim "He who kills a man shall be put to death. He who kills a beast shall make it good, life for life. When a man causes a disfigurement in his neighbour, as he has done it shall be done to him, fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has disfigured a man, he shall be disfigured" (Lev 24:17-20). If that's the rule, couldn't God have just called the kid a bad name and leave it at that?

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