Apr 19, 2015

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

And Hashem spoke to Moshe:

Leviticus 20:1

וְאִישׁ אוֹ־אִשָּׁה כִּי־יִהְיֶה בָהֶם אוֹב אוֹ יִדְּעֹנִי מוֹת יוּמָתוּ בָּאֶבֶן יִרְגְּמוּ אֹתָם דְּמֵיהֶם בָּם׃

A man or a woman who has a ghost or a familiar spirit shall be put to death; they shall be pelted with stones—their bloodguilt shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:27

The final topic in our portion outlines the punishments for many of the crimes mentioned earlier, particularly in chapter 18. One who gives his offspring to Molech is to be stoned to death.  Anyone who enables him, or who turns to witchcraft, is cut off from the people. He who curses his parents should be put to death. Those who engage in any of the forbidden relationships are punishable by death, in forms according to the particular transgression. The Torah then reiterates its earlier statement that defiling the land will result in expulsion.


The portion finishes by commanding the people to distinguish between clean and unclean beasts for food, and again forbidding witchcraft.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think cursing one’s parents is punishable by death? Wouldn’t the parents prefer their child live?

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