Breathing Life Into Stones: On Aaron, Emotional Labor, and Parashat Shemini

A large collection of grey stones; Photo by John Salzarulo on Unsplash

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the passage just before the beginning of Shemini (Leviticus 9:1–11:47) explains that “Aaron and his sons did all the things which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.” Given the events that transpired in Ki Tisa, from the construction of the golden calf to the inscription of the stone tablets to the diverse fire imagery…