Best of the Web
This list of 76 Things Banned in the Bible quickly went viral. As a result, the internet had to take a bath and sacrifice a goat.
Here's the original Leviticus Internet meme, an open letter to radio host Dr. Laura.
The 1906 version of the Jewish Encyclopedia is online—huzzah!—and it has an extensive article on Leviticus. For those who want to read a more updated version, take heart: the current edition will be available as soon as it hits the public domain a hundred or so years from now.
The Union for Reform Judaism offers a comprehensive series of lessons on Leviticus from its 10 Minutes of Torah series.
Who owns Leviticus.com? A tattoo shop, of course.
An international network of scholars, celebrities, and advocacy groups uses Leviticus 25 to argue that there should be no interest for the poor. International banks respond with no interest.
Here's one Islamic scholar's answer.
Many conservative Christians think so, and the American Covenant Institute is happy to sell them books.
The gay rights issue has sparked serious reflection in the Jewish community as to the meaning of Leviticus in light of contemporary values. MyJewishLearning.com offers a useful survey.
Two, count 'em, two sides of the Christian debate on Leviticus and sex.
Mel White used to be one of the leading writers in fundamentalist Christianity—until he came out as gay. Wheaton College—the evangelical Christian one in Illinois—came out with its own position paper against Mel White.
Movies and TV
This documentary follows the gay subculture within Orthodox Judaism. How does it jibe with Leviticus?
God says it's wrong to bring strong drink into the Tabernacle, but what about drugs in a synagogue? In the based-on-a-true-story film High Rollers, Jesse Eisenberg plays a young Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn who becomes a drug-runner instead of a rabbi. When he goes to Saturday worship, the reading is, of course, Nadab and Abihu offering strange fire.
In the epic 1950s adaptation of The Ten Commandments, the last words of Moses come straight from Leviticus 25:10. But if Moses died outside the Tabernacle near Mount Sinai, who's the guy roaming around in Numbers and Deuteronomy?
Leviticus uses dice and lots at the Tabernacle to symbolize how the Israelites don't control their own fate. The classic music Guys and Dolls updates the scenery to a skid row Salvation Army and a game of craps. Will God use a pair of dice to save a ragtag group of sinners, or will they go out into the urban wilderness?
Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, provides the setting for Ushpizin, a lighthearted ultra-Orthodox Jewish romp widely praised by critics for not starring Adam Sandler.
This 1950s movie is Disney's first cartoon on the circle of life. Unlike The Lion King, however, The Story of Menstruation has not generated enough box office to justify making a Broadway musical.
The Leviticus 26 parchment here is from around the 2nd century BCE. In this historic fragment, God forbids his people from making wisecracks about how it's all Greek to them.
What does Leviticus look like in ancient Hebrew from around 2,000 years ago? Check out this close-up view. Scholars deciphering this ancient script have made a number of earthshaking discoveries—for example, the paleo-Hebrew version of Leviticus 26:2 reads, "Ye shall drink more Ovaltine."
Another animated look at Leviticus from a Jewish perspective, this time without a guitar.
This time, Bono's looking for global debt relief based on principles from the Jubilee in Leviticus.
This video explains why Bell started his evangelical mega-church with an 18-month verse-by-verse study of Leviticus. Bell recently moved to Hollywood to create a new network TV series, but don't expect him to use the same strategy to get Nielsen ratings.
From the people who bring us the popular Mitzvah Tank—which, despite what it sounds like, is not the Jewish version of Dunk the Clown.
In his iTunes series on the Pentateuch, Professor Richard Pratt offers a survey of the Christian take on Leviticus. To see how this series relates to those linked above, listen to this Sesame Street song.
Looking to brush up on your Hebrew? Here you'll find MP3s of the entire book read in Hebrew, free from University of Washington Professor Gary Martin's Academy of Ancient Languages.
As is typical of the times, this woodcut of Moses saying "Don't call me, I'll call you" to God at the end of Leviticus shows him with horns on his head. Besides its significance as a masterpiece of 15th century German art, the image creepily foreshadows Lady Gaga's Alejandro video.
This fragment from the Dead Sea Scrolls has a dozen or so letters from Leviticus 23. Based on their position on the scroll, scholars believe that this passage originally read "A man shall not lie with the lying of a bunk bed after college."
The Nadab and Abihu woodcut from the Nuremberg Bible looks more like a German village than a wilderness tent Tabernacle. All is forgiven, however, because it's freaky.
Sure they sinned, but they're so cuuuuuuute.