In the Laws of Offerings, the Bible Teaches an Important Lesson about the Perils of Political Power

March 19 2021

In this week’s reading of Vayikra (Leviticus 1-5), the Torah details a number of ritual sacrifices, among them those brought to atone for an accidental sin. These come in four varieties, dependent on the person seeking atonement: for an individual, the high priest, the Sanhedrin (as the Talmud understands the passage), and the nasi—a word meaning “president” in modern Hebrew but originally meaning chieftain or leader. Examining the treatment of the last instance, the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks derives a powerful meditation on political theory:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

More about: Hebrew Bible, Jewish political tradition, Jonathan Sacks, Sacrifice

When Confronting Terrorists, Lethal Force Is Often Necessary

On Saturday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a passerby in Jerusalem, and was then shot dead by two border guards. As the second bullet hit him when he was already on the ground, some Israelis have accused the guards of wrongdoing; a misleadingly edited viral video has also brought more attention to the incident. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Knife intifada, Palestinian terror