Feb 1, 2024

On the Idea of "Cleanliness" (nekiyut) in Exodus 18:1–20:23

New Books Network 2024

This week, Modya and David move on to the character trait of nekiyut, or cleanliness, and use it as a lense on the Torah portion of Yitro, in which the Theophany at Sinai takes place. Just some of the questions pondered by the hosts: How does the concept of ritual purity influence the concept of purification of one's character? How are "inner" and "outer" cleanliness related? How can we know the true location of the "border of the mountain" (Mount Sinai), which the Israelites are instructed not to cross as God makes God's Presence known? And in the same way, how can we know when we have "crossed the line" between the minor transgression and the slippery slope? Thanks for listening!

Modya Silver is an author and psychotherapist based in Toronto. David Gottlieb is a faculty member in the Jewish Studies program at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.

Listen to more episodes on: