1. This is a combined Torah portion. Some portions are attached one to another, in order to make sure the entire book of the Pentateuch is read within a prescribed yearly cycle.
2. According to Lev.16, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest brought forth 2 goats; one he slaughtered on the altar, and the other one he sent off to “Azazel,” a desert demon. The dispatch was done as a means of getting rid of all the sins--a primitive concept.
3. Lev. 19:18, mandates that we “love” our neighbor. In biblical times, “to love,” as seen in various ancient Near Eastern texts, basically meant, “to be loyal” to someone else. In his book, The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm, understands this to mean, “to feel responsible for someone else” (p.130).
4. According to Lev. 19:14, we are not to “place a stumbling block before the blind.” For the rabbis in the Sifra, this meant: “Do not give self-serving advice to one who is ignorant and inexperienced.” For the Talmudic Rabbis, this ordinance comes to tell us not “to tempt another person to sin” (Pes. 22b).