The weekly Torah portion of Shemini (Leviticus 9:1–11:47)

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Which insects are not kosher?

In Vayikra (11:23) it says: But all winged swarming things, which have four feet, are a detestable thing unto you. On which Rashi (quoting the Sifra aka Toras Cohanim) says: Go and learn if there ...
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Why were Nadav and Avihu punished?

בס"ד "Rabbi Ishmael says: [They died because] they had entered the sanctuary after having drunk wine. The proof is that after their death, [Scripture] admonished the survivors that they may not ...
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Why was Aharon not liable for issuing a ruling around his teacher?

The Chumash (Shemini 10:16 and onwards) describe an argument between Moshe and Aharon. Aharon's two sons died by the hands of Hashem and he became an Onen who cannot eat sacrifices. Moshe gave him an ...
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What happened with Nadav and Avihu?

Regarding the death of Nadav and Avihu the Torah says it happened when they brought a foreign / unauthorized fire into the Mishkan. Concerning their death Rashi brings up Rabbi Eliezers opinion that ...
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Why separate verses for the camel, hare, and hyrax?

In vayikra 11, we're given an overview of the kosher and non kosher animals. Among mammals, it singles out four as explicitly non kosher: the pig for only having split hooves, and the camel, hare, and ...
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What is a “tinshemet”?

The תִּנְשָֽׁמֶת is mentioned twice regarding non-kosher animals. In Leviticus 11:18, among the non-kosher birds: וְאֶת־הַתִּנְשֶׁ֥מֶת וְאֶת־הַקָּאָ֖ת וְאֶת־הָרָחָֽם׃ In Leviticus 11:30. among the ...
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Questions regarding unusual trope combination

I am relaying a question that my friend emailed to me, last night. (It's a mitzvah to credit others): There are two places in the Torah that have an unusual dual trope note combination on a single ...
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What's the difference between לְמִינוֹ and לְמִינֵהוּ?

B'reshis 1:11–12, :25; Sh'mini 11:15–22; and R'e 14:14–15 seem to use "לְמִינוֹ" and "לְמִינֵהוּ" interchangeably, and both words are generally translated the same way (usually ...
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What did Nadav and Avihu do wrong?

Leviticus 10 tells about the death of Aharon's sons: And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire ...
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Are Llamas Kosher?

Being that llamas are ruminates it seems to me that they clearly chew their cud. But I have not found any definitive information on whether or not the have fully split hooves. Furthermore, they are ...
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Which Animals Have Only One Kosher Sign?

Vayikra 11:4-7 mentions four animals that either chew their cud or have split hooves, but do not posses both kosher signs and are therefore not kosher. At the present time, is this a complete list or ...
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Understanding the Gemara and Ramban on the four one-siman animals

Vayikra 11:1-8 א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן, לֵאמֹר אֲלֵהֶם. ב דַּבְּרוּ אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר: זֹאת הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכְלוּ, מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָאָרֶץ. ג ...
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Should a Jewish cashier scan treif items?

On the basis of Vayikra 11:8, is it permitted to work as an employee at a grocery store as a cashier (not the owner of the business), which would entail touching packaged yet non-kosher food items ...
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2answers
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Aaron Hakohen and his children

Why did Aaron get praised when he was silent upon hearing of the death of his children - wouldn't that seem to be very cold and unfeeling?
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Ruining the celebration of the Mishkan but not Har Sinai

Hashem did not want to mete out any punishments at the giving of the Torah in order to not ruin the joy of the moment (Rashi to Shemos 24:11). But Hashem was fine with seemingly ruining the joy of ...
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Sacrificial Calves; Aaron vs. Israel

In the beginning of Leviticus 9, Aaron is commanded to bring a sin offering for himself; a calf. On behalf of the nation, he is commanded to bring another calf, however in this case it is brought as ...
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How did Moshe know that Nadav and Avihu were greater than either himself or Aharon?

In Vayikra 10:3 after the two sons of Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, were killed, Moshe said to Aharon “This is what the Hashem said, saying: I will be sanctified through those near to Me, and before all ...
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Why were Yisrael allowed to mourn for the death of the two sons of Aharon, but not Aharon and his two remaining sons?

After the two sons of Aharon were killed by Hashem, it says in Vayikra 10:6 “ And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons: Do not leave your heads unshorn and do not rend your ...
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In parshas Shemini why were Aharon and his sons not referred to by their title “the Kohanim”?

When the Torah mentions the Kohanim in connection with their priestly service, it usually describes them as 'the Kohanim'. For example, in Vayikra 1:8 it says “and the sons of Aharon the Kohanim shall ...
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Is it permissible to touch an unclean animal that is living?

I've understood (and of course, I could be wrong in my understanding) that Lev. 11 and Deut. 14 specifically prohibit human contact ("You shall not touch") and consumption ("You shall not eat") of the ...
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The reason Aaron's two sons died

Why did Aaron's two elder sons die? I've heard that there are many reasons offered, and would appreciate knowing as many as possible.
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Singular and plural language in Vaikra 10:1

In parashat shemini, chapter 10, verse 1 it is written: וַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִיבוּ לִפְנֵי ...
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Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen to remove Nadav and Avihu?

There were many other people who could have been chosen to remove the dead bodies of Nadav and Avihu from the Mishkan (Vayikra 10:4). Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen for this task as opposed ...
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Do Chazal discuss Mishael and Eltzaphan

Do chazal provide any information on מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן the levite cousins of Aron and Moshe who removed Nadav and Avihu from the mishkan (Vayikra 10:4)? I'm looking for any sources that discuss ...
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impure animals: present, future, past

The verses in Vayikra 11:4-6 gives 3 examples of different impure animals which don't have split hoofs, namely: the camel, the 'hyrax' (shafan) and the hare. An interesting thing I once noticed is ...
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What was the purpose of Nachshon's sin-offering?

Nachshon ben Amminadav, and each of the eleven tribal leaders who followed him, offered "one young he-goat for a sin offering" as part of their gifts for the dedication of the Mishkan (Num. 7:16 ...
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A year with eight Sh'minis is plenteous?

I've heard an idea that a year (like 5772) in which parashas Sh'mini is read eight times[1] is a particularly auspicious one: the wording of the maxim is something like "sh'mona Sh'mini sh'mena" ([a ...
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The Shafan and Arneves

What are the Shafan and Arneves (Leviticus 11:5-6)?