Prospectus: The Universal Theme of Holiness and its Modern Significance

This post will refer to some of the things discussed in my blog post from last week about Holiness/Cleanliness in Leviticus (https://hebrewbible.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/allegory-makes-rules-more-interesting/).

The focus of my essay will concern the idea of Holiness presented in Leviticus. I hope to expand a basic understanding of the concept of Holiness to an appreciation for the universal application of the theme.

A major goal of the essay will be to explain cleanliness as defined by Leviticus and it’s relationship to Holiness. I also intend to use this relationship to give purpose to the strict set of laws proposed in the book, as well as their significance to modern humanity. In doing so, I hope to persuade the reader to consider how a non-Jewish person can benefit from knowing and understanding the structure of Jewish law outlined in Leviticus, even in a non-religious way.

I plan to discuss the importance of a few laws in Leviticus and how often they are overlooked because it seems that they would only apply in the Biblical context. These might include laws concerning the uncleanliness of disease and separation of the sick from the healthy. While it may seem that modern medicine has eliminated the need for such precautions, the concept implied by the idea of separation is a much more universal and modernly applicable interpretation.

Finally, I intend to relate the previous points by suggesting that the detailed and strict laws given to the people by God help us to characterize Him as both a demanding and merciful god, who is willing to provide a ritual for atonement. This suggestion will further support the universal idea that humanity is destined to fall to corruption and chaos, and only through guidance from a divine being, such as God, can we be able to be saved from ourselves. Furthermore, I hope to point out that the type of laws and rules God gives the Israelites can be applied to our own lives, suggesting that we may personally benefit from living our lives a certain way as described in Leviticus.

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About Brandon Nelson

Brandon is a sophomore Biochemistry major at the University of Kentucky. He likes to play soccer and guitar in his free time and one day hopes to be a pediatrician.
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2 Responses to Prospectus: The Universal Theme of Holiness and its Modern Significance

  1. Ashley Lee says:

    Good topic Brandon! I personally really the aspect of implying how a standard of living is beneficial to people. I feel like when there is not standard, then there is chaos; physically, politically, and spiritually. Morality today is something that young generations have been accused of having less and less of, and I agree that a guide, like the one in Leviticus, can only have a positive impact on the uprising generations and culture.

    Does that mean I think we should live by the law in Leviticus? Not exactly. But having a standard, even if it’s a standard that’s not completely agreed with or understood, but is irrefutable would have profound impact for the positive. I think the idea of people understanding the Jewish laws even if not from a religious view, is also a good idea. It’s similar to the reasons parents would want to raise their kids experiencing different cultures. The same benefit’s arise.

  2. tdjohn8 says:

    I agree with the thought on the importance of everyone needing to know these laws in Leviticus. I dont believe we should say we have to follow them 100% everyday, but use them more as a base for our everyday actions. By everyone having their base of what should and shouldnt be done in everyday life could reduce or atleast prolong the time when this “chaos” occurs. However you could already say the chaos has hit with the current wars the US is in along with the chaos in the middle east.

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