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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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Bodily Perfection in the Sanctuary

Bodily Perfection in the Sanctuary

Parashat Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1–5:26)

(p.123) Twenty-Four Bodily Perfection in the Sanctuary
Torah Queeries

Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert

NYU Press

This chapter examines the Parashat Vayikra of Leviticus, which centers on the instruction concerning animal sacrifices in the sanctuary. The text offers specific identifying marks to distinguish if an animal is an “unblemished male sacrifice.” However, it does not mention specifications regarding the female animal sacrifice. Moreover, the requirement for the firstborn to be male introduces the notion of the dually sexed (the androginos) or the nonsexed (or not-yet-sexed) animal (tumtum). If the firstborn animal does not have a clearly recognizable gender identity, it is not a valid male firstborn. This problem challenges the notion gender duality, providing a model for thinking in queer or transgender terms.

Keywords:   Parashat Vayikra, animal sacrifices, Leviticus, animal sacrifice, androginos, nonsexed

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