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KMTT - the Torah Podcast

May 9, 2024

Kedoshim | "The Song of the Covenant" by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

Why was Parashat Kedoshim uniquely presented "publicly" (בהקהל) and how was that manifested? 

The first half of Parashat Kedoshim (Vayikra 19:1-37) was presented, per the opening verse, in a public forum - "מלמד שפרשה זו נאמרה בהקהל", as the Sifra states. The centrality of the content of these verses explains the significance of these passages, yet what are we to make of the "public presentation"? And how are we to account for the oft-repeated refrain of אני השם (אלקיכם) that punctuates this reading? A novel proposal of the method of presentation of these laws and its role in public transmission of the ברית is suggested here along with the role of this covenant in apposition to the engraved ברית of the עשרת הדברים.

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