A student, on finding his Rabbi, day after day, examining the pages of the Leviticus Talmud, asks “Why are you preoccupied with this text?”
The Rabbi replies, simply, yet profoundly, “I like it here.”
I, too, like it here. I still can not grasp the depth of the Levitical text, but it is a deceptively deep. This much I may dare to say.
Once we are wiling to wade waist deep through the purity protocols of Leviticus, aware of the subtle strength of the ritual currents that run through Israelite religion, the significance of Israelite spirituality becomes clear: in every hour, day, week, month and year, through the most regular routines of birth, life, and death, the unintentional becomes deliberate, implicit becomes explicit, extrinsic becomes intrinsic. Transformation is offered, and experienced.
The intangible nature of God becomes concrete, becomes imminent, dwells in their midsts; The lofty concept of love is embodied, absorbed, and experienced through repentance, forgiveness and grace.
Israelite spirituality is not mechanistic, abusive, and domineering. This is what it became when polluted by selfishness and greed of the human heart.
Israelite spirituality is life lived in and for love of the community: small details are deliberate, with the hope of kindling comfort in the expansive unknown.
Israelite spirituality is a conscious remembering and imaging of goodness and kindness, with the hope that kindness and goodness may be inspired spontaneously.
The mysteries of Leviticus are still largely veiled to me, yet for the few profound mysteries of God that have been revealed, with the hope of many more to be revealed, I can say of my dwelling, I like it here.