|The Kohanim are commanded to avoid contact with corpses in order to maintain a high standard of ritual purity. They are permitted to attend the funeral of only their seven closest relatives: father, mother, wife, son, daughter, brother and unmarried sister. The Kohen Gadol may not attend the funeral even of his closest relatives. Certain marital restrictions are placed on the Kohanim. The nation is required to honour the Kohanim. |
The physical defects that invalidate a Kohen from serving in the Temple are listed. Terumah, a produce tithe given to the Kohanim, may be eaten only by Kohanim and their household. An animal may be sacrificed in the Temple after it is eight days old and is free from any physical defects. The nation is commanded to 'sanctify HaShem' (Kidush HaShem), by insuring that one's behavior is always exemplary and by being prepared to surrender one's life rather than murder, engage in licentious relations or worship idols. The special characteristics of the holidays are described, and the nation is reminded not to do certain Melachah -- creative work -- during them.
New grain ('Chadash') may not be used until after the second day of Pesach, when the Omer of barley is offered when there is a Temple. The Parashah explains the laws of preparing the oil for the Menorah and baking the Lechem HaPanim (the show-bread) in the Temple. A man blasphemes HaShem and is executed as prescribed in the Torah.