A prominent Jewish Rabbi was asked which books of the Old Testament are the most important to the Jewish Community. Surprisingly, he began to talk about the Book of Leviticus. The Book of Leviticus is largely a book of laws, spelling out in practical terms how to remain in Covenant with God; how to remain in union with God; how to be faithful to God; how to love God. The careful reader of Leviticus soon realizes that many of the laws have to do with mercy and compassion — toward the lonely stranger, the widow, the orphan, the poor, the slave. And buried in the midst of the long litany of laws is a commandment we all are familiar with: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” What Leviticus is saying is that one of the ways of remaining in union with God is to love other people; that God wants His people to demonstrate their fidelity to Him through their love for neighbor.…
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