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The Double Loshon of Emor: Rav Moshe Feinstein

Written by Benjamin A Rose

The Possuk says “ויאמר ה אל-משה, אמר אל-הכהנים בני אהרן” – “And Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the Cohanim…”

I heard the following vort in a shiur by Rav Ginsburg (Michlala Sem and Netiv Aryeh Yeshiva)

He brings and idea from Rav Moshe Feinstein; Rav Moshe asks the question why does the Torah use this Double Loshon, and more importantly why here by Cohanim??
Rav Moshe first explains that usually most mitzvos start with vayedaber using the word Daber, which is a much stronger Loshon, e.g. by Benching Hashem says vayedaber, You must bench!! ChaZaL tell us that the word Daber is a much stronger command whereas emor is a softer less harsh kind of please do the following!
So why here does the Torah use Vayomer.. Emor??

Cohanim are the High Priests of the Jewish Religion, their lives are restricted more then regular Jews. they have to deal with purity laws, can only marry certain Women and they can’t even go to their own parents’ Levaya!!

However they get to work in the Beis Hamikdosh they are far holier than all of us Yisraelim and even Leviim! what a great Zchus they have to be able to work in “Hashem’s House”?? Also they only work 2 weeks a year and when they arent working they have 50 weeks a year free, what do they do? they teach the masses. which means they know that what they are doing is securing the Mesorah of our religion!!

So if a Cohen thinks about it the resrictions he has reflect the exhalted status he has!

Here comes the answer to the question. Rav moshe says the reason Emor is used twice here is that if a Cohen realises that these restrictions were a party of his status he would find it much easier. he would say bH i am a cohen and i can live my life working as a Kohen Godol, and bH i have these restrictions which make me more holy!! You wouldnt see George Bush at a conference in his shorts and t shirt? No he knows He is the president he will tell you he can live with the fact he must wear a suit, i mean i am the president!!

L’havdil a cohen must recognis it is part and parcel of being a cohen that he can’t fly El-Al out of Tel Aviv (before they changed the flight path) because they flew over a cemetry.

So Hashem is telling the Cohanim with this doubvle Emor thateven though its difficult with these restrictions hear the commands as if its a soft and pleasant and remember that its all part of the overall package!

Now Rav Ginsburg expands the idea to all Jews! He says that while most command start Vayedaber they do also say Emor, Vayedaber Hashem el Moshe L’emor…

Jews are restricted more than non jews, we have to eat kosher, we have shabbos, we have to dress tzniusly (yes even in the summer), but this is all part of who we are, Goy Kadosh, we are a Holy Nation, among the other nations we are the chosen People!!

Our lives may be hard at times always having to ask a shaaleh to make sure we’re doing things right, always thinking am i allowed this, can i do that… etc. But its all part of being a Jew.

We should look at all mitzvos and see ahh Hashem says Emor, He’s telling us that He understands its hard for us to take but take it as being part and parcel of being a Jew and say you know what bH i am a jew with all these added restrictions that make me a holy person!!

This way we will find being a Jew much easier and realise our holy status!!!

bH i am a frumme Yid!!

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