Offerings Outside the Tabernacle and Blood

Apr 19, 2015

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

Leviticus 17:1

וְאִם לֹא יְכַבֵּס וּבְשָׂרוֹ לֹא יִרְחָץ וְנָשָׂא עֲוׂנוֹ׃

But if he does not wash [his clothes] and bathe his body, he shall bear his guilt.

Leviticus 17:16

Although God permits His people to eat meat, in this portion he instructs the people only to slaughter animals as peace offerings in the Tabernacle. Offerings brought outside the Tabernacle are considered bloodshed, and cause the person to be cut off from the nation. The Israel Bible explains the reasoning for this command. One purpose for the sacrificial service is the create unit among the nation. By mandating service be performed in the Tabernacle, and later, the Temple, God limits the possibility of variety of worship. LIkewise, He builds in an opportunity for all the Children of Israel to spiritually recharge three times annually by attending the pilgrimage festivals in Jerusalem.


Likewise, the Torah prohibits the people from eating the blood of the animal, as it contains the soul and serves as atonement for the sinner’s soul. Instead, the Torah instructs the people to pour out the blood of the animal and cover it with earth. This applies to wild animals which were trapped and slaughtered.


Finally, the Torah warns against eating a creature that died on its own or was torn apart by a beast. One who does must immerse himself and is contaminated until evening.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think slaughtering animals outside the Tabernacle would be considered bloodshed?

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