Sh'mini II

II שְׁמִינִי
The Eighth [Day]

Leviticus 10:12–11:47


  • The priests are further instructed about making sacrifices. (10:12-19)
  • Dietary laws are given to distinguish between pure and impure animals, birds, fish, and insects. (11:1-47)

Ten Minutes of Torah: Sh'mini II Commentary

Torrah and Kippah

The Dietary Laws: Fitness for a Life Well-Lived

By: Rabbi David A. Lyon

The dietary laws presented in the Book of Leviticus are intended to draw us closer to God. But even I, as a rabbi, sometimes have difficulty understanding how the Torah intends for this to happen.

The second part of Sh’mini (Leviticus 10:12-11:47) takes up the subject of food. Everything from taboos to general permissions are commanded forming the foundation of later, Talmudic, legal interpretations on what is kosher (fit for consumption) and what is t’reif (unfit). Reform Judaism has sought an authentic response to expectations for kashrut that would meet individual and contemporary norms.

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