Jewish Journal

Join the 30-day Levicitus challenge

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 29, 2008 | 5:48 pm

A.J. Jacobs living biblically

When I read A.J. Jacob’s “The Year of Living Biblically,” I wished I had thought of spending a year living like an ancient Israelite. But the book had already been written, and I didn’t know an adulterer to stone, so I moved on to other odd makeovers, like growing a mustache. What then does Daniel Harrell hope to gain from his 30-day Leviticus challenge?

“I needed to attempt a sermon series from Leviticus. But rather than preach it straight up (and risk an exodus), I decided to teach it the way I imagine the earliest hearers learned it—by living it out,” Harrell writes in Christianity Today. “I would preach a reality sermon series. I got the idea from A. J. Jacobs’s book The Year of Living Biblically. Jacobs, a self-described agnostic Jew, determined to abide by all the strictures of Scripture as literally as possible for an entire year, just to see what would happen. Unlike Jacobs, however, my approach would not be an agnostic one; I would live out Leviticus fully believing that its teaching still applies. But also unlike Jacobs, I wouldn’t do this by myself. Leviticus was addressed to an entire community, not discrete individuals. So much of what it commands can only be experienced in community. I would need others to live Levitically with me.”

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