Leviticus Clean vs Unclean Purity Laws

Leviticus Clean vs Unclean Purity Laws
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Common Core Standards
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This lesson helps students visualize and categorize the animals that are considered clean vs. unclean in Leviticus. By doing so they can start to see the rationale behind Leviticus’ categories. Here, the rationale provided by the scholar Mary Douglas is generally followed. She proposed that because of the imperative that blood not be eaten after the flood, creatures that eat other creatures were prohibited. (These creatures have ingested the blood of another creature already). This can be seen when Leviticus says that only animals that chew the cud are allowed. But also very vulnerable animals are prohibited as well (lacking scales for fish). Regarding exceptional cases, creatures that seem to have a deformity or have extra or less limbs than what they are supposed to are also prohibited. See Lev 21.18, 24.19-20, 19.35 for the rationale behind this. It is related to justice and treating others fairly.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
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