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KMTT - the Torah Podcast

May 23, 2024

Behar | When and Where? by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

Why is the end of Sefer Vayikra identified with Har Sinai? 

The last three chapters of Vayikra are identified as being given by Hashem to Moshe בהר סיני  - which is typically understood to mean, in apposition to מאהל מועד, atop the mountain and, therefore, before the construction of the Mishkan. This presents a challenge to chronological sequencing of the Torah (מוקדם ומאוחר בתורה), since the first (presumably 24) chapters of Vayikra were given in the "Tent of Meeting". We explore the various approaches of the Midrash Halakha and the Rishonim in deciphering the text's identifying these passages as being given at Har Sinai - and then propose a theory which not only responds to their questions but also casts the narrative sequencing issue in a different light.

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