Q. What is the point of reading Biblical verses about animal sacrifice?
A. Hermann Gollancz says the sacrifices “impress upon the people the idea that they had to sacrifice themselves, to sacrifice their unholy wishes and their wicked desires, in the task of serving their Creator and God, and leading a pure, useful and holy life”.
Isidore Epstein writes that the sacrifices “are designed in all their parts to foster in the mind of the devotee a sense of the awfulness of a religious offence in that it creates an estrangement alike between man and God and between man and man”.
Summarising Mordecai Kaplan’s view, Max Arzt says that “to be qualified for God’s presence, the Sanctuary itself had to be cleansed of the impurities caused by the sins of the people. Even religious institutions need to be cleansed of corruption.”