Parashat Emor / Who Will Comfort the Blemished?

The sages, fitting the episode into the reality of Jewish religious law in which they live, turn the blasphemer into a bastard, who, according to the sages’ religious legal code, may not enter the community of God.

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“And the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian [goes] out among the children of Israel” (Leviticus 24:10) and commits blasphemy. The nature of the son’s sin is not explicitly stated and the...