Double Mitzvah – Vayikra

Double Mitzvah Jewrotica Parsha

Written by Tamar Fox. Check out last week’s post in this series, Double Mitzvah – Vayakhel / Pekudei.

PG-13Ah, Leviticus, arguably the most difficult book of the Torah for a modern reader to connect with. The detailed instructions for sacrifices and priestly rites can be difficult to get excited about, if not downright boring. But reading through this week’s parsha, I was struck by how often there are sacrifices made for the times when someone has made an unintentional error. There are four different sacrifice procedures described for those who accidentally transgress, and then four more for people who transgress without knowing that they’ve transgressed until after the fact.

What’s most interesting about this is that the making of major mistakes is built into the system of sacrifice, which thereby pleases God. The Torah itself contains rules for making amends after one makes a mistake, therein recognizing and affirming the practice of transgression.

In our own relationships, particularly romantic and sexual relationships, it’s helpful to keep in mind that there will be accidents, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. It’s even more helpful to get in the habit of making amends when things go wrong. Surely the first step is to acknowledge the problem, but then what? Can you and your partner or lover come up with a practice or ritual to follow when something has come between you? It can be as simple as blocking off half an hour to spend together with no interruptions, or as complex as intricately planning a whole night of exciting activities.

I would not suggest integrating actual animal sacrifices into these rituals, but if you’re into kink, there’s certainly a lot to work with in Leviticus (blood play, breathplay, scarification, branding, etc). Have fun fulfilling your kinkiest Levite fantasies – and, as always, be safe.

Shabbat shalom!

Author of Jewrotica's Double Mitzvah column, Tamar Fox is a writer and editor in Philadelphia. She will try anything once, including open relationships, dating someone who is chalav yisrael, and going to Suriname.