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Body, The Human

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Serving my family baklava – which includes both honey and walnuts – for dessert this Shabbat will hopefully serve as a springboard for a good discussion on the Torah portion.
Why does the book devoted to mitzvot start with the laws of sacrifices? Perhaps they encapsulate the inner meaning of mitzvot more than any other individual mitzvah . . .
Why, if a person sinned and wished to make atonement, or he was just in a generous mood and wished to offer something to G‑d, does he sacrifice an innocent animal? Why doesn’t he sacrifice himself, for example?
It wasn’t always this way. Until relatively recently, fat was considered a delicacy.
I can see the experiential quality of it all: an ancient temple with heavenly music and mystical song; priests in flowing robes deep in meditation; mesmerizing, choreographed ritual. But why the barbecue?
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