EMOR "Hashem said to Moses: Say to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and tell them............"(21:1)
There seems to be a redundancy in the wording of the verse, namely "say" and "tell them". Rashi based on Yevomos 114a maintains that this is to teach us that the older priests were commanded to warn the younger priests concerning the status of the Priesthood as demonstrated by the laws that are to follow in the next verses. (Please look at the verses, and Rashi in particular for further elucidation on the matter.) A question can be asked, why is there the "extra" concern in regard to this matter ? What is it about "Kahuna" (priesthood) that warrants such particular concern?
I would like to propose the following answer, Bezrat Hashem:
EMOR "And there went out the son of an Israelite woman, and he was the son of an Egyptian man, among the children of Israel..."(24:10)
Rashi comments in the name of Rabbi Levi, From where did he go out? (The language of "going out" seems to be obscure. Thus the question, " From where did he go out from?") Therefore, Rabbi Levi answers that he went out from his Eternal Life ("Paradise"). This means that he was going on a path that was leading to sin.
Its interesting to note that eventhou this person had a tainted pedigry, he still had a portion in the "World To Come"........
This is in keeping with the doctrine found in Sanhedrin 90a , "All Israel have a portion in the World To Come".. The novel concept of this statement is that every Jew has a portion in the World To Come initially, regardless of his or her social status by the mere fact that he or she is Jewish. A Jew is born with this distinction. However, it is our duty in this world to retain our personal portion.We must all appreciate this distinction, and constantly endeavor to find ways and safeguards that will ensure that our portion is never forfeited, CHAS Ve SHALOM...........
A good way to begin is by becoming acutely aware that such a portion exists. For how can we possibly safeguard something precious, if we dont even know it is in our possession??????
There is an interesting and important machlokes between Rashi and the Chizkuni in our sedra regarding when the festival that we call ‘Pesach’ starts. The strict reading of 23:5-6 would have us believe that ‘Pesach’ is actually a one-day festival on the 14th Nissan, and the next seven days welcome a festival called ‘Chag Hamatzos.’ These are the psukim: ‘on the first month on the 14th day of the month in the afternoon is Pesach for HaShem (5). ‘And on the 15th day of this month is Chag Hamatzos for HaShem; for seven days you shall eat matzos’ (6). The Chizkuni indeed understands the psukim this way; according to him, there is a festival in the afternoon of the 14th Nissan called Pesach. Indeed, the Gra is of the same opinion - thus, when the 14th Nissan falls on a Friday, the Gra writes that we do not say viyhi no’am on the preceding motzai Shabbos (an omission reserved for when a festival falls during the following week). However, Rashi 23:5 is of the opinion that the Torah does not mean to institute a festival on the 14th called Pesach. Rather, ‘Pesach for HaShem’ in the pasuk simply means that we are to offer the korban pesach on the 14th. [The Gra asks on Rashi that the psukim here are dealing with the Mo’adim, and not korbanos]. That’s a decent machlokes for you to impress your friends with then!
The introduction to the perek-long listing of the various festivals tells us that ‘these are the Mo’adim of HaShem which you shall call ‘holy callings…’’ (23:2). What does it mean to ‘call’ a festival? The Rashbam explains that this ‘calling’ means that we must fix the times of the Mo’ed. As the gemarra highlights, the beis din are supposed to fix the day of Yom Tov by declaring and fixing the month. Indeed, this naming/declaring of the date fixes the kedusha of the day in that it allows the kedusha to ‘come down’ on the appointed day - which is why we say mekadesh Yisrael ve’hazmanim in our Yom Tov davening. Shabbos, in contrast, is fixed by HaShem - so we say mekadesh haShabbos in our davening; there’s no reference to Yisrael there, for the day of Shabbos is automatically holy, without it being fixed by us. The Sforno gives us another explanation of the ‘calling’ here. He explains that it refers to the gathering of the people together for holy matters. This is similar to the explanation of the Ramban here, that ‘calling’ means that the people are called to gather in the Mikdash on the festival (aliyah le’regel). So amongst the commentators we have seen a good mixture of bein adam le’makom and bein adam le’chaveiro explanations of the word ‘calling.’
The Netziv (32:43) quite correctly asks why, when our sedra speaks about the festival of Sukkos, does it put the mitzvah of the 4 minim ('species') before the mitzvah of sitting in the sukkah? Given that the festival is named after the mitzvah of sitting in the sukkah (and a name is the essence of a thing), surely that mitzvah should be put first? Not only that, but chronologically, the mitzvah of sukkah comes first - it's from the first night of sukkos - whilst the mitzvah of the 4 minim does not begin until the following morning. So why IS the mitzvah of the 4 minim put first?
Perhaps one can draw upon the Midrash to reveal an answer here. The Midrash remarks that the 4 minim represent weapons of a battle - signifying our victory in the judgment of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. When we hold our lulav
Parashas Emor – Sanctification or Desecration... You Choose
This week's Parasha is Emor in which we continue our 'holy' theme from the latter of our double parasha last week which was of course Kedoshim. Whereas Kedoshim dealt mainly with the commandments that the entire nation should strive to become holy and brought down the broad range of activities that brings one to this, the Torah now turns to the Kohanim, who according to the Ibn Ezra, have a particular responsibility to maintain higher standards of holy behaviour and purity due to the divine service which they are privileged to perform.
So the first restriction specified by the Torah so that the Kohanim should remain holy is the law that they “shall not contaminate themselves to a dead person among their people” [21:1]. Dead bodies have an impurity called טמא/tum'a
Included in its discussion of the Yomtovim throughout the year, this week's parsha lists the mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer, to count the days and weeks from the second day of Passover until Shavuot. Let us raise a question on the nature of this mitzvah in which we are presently involved. We were just redeemed from Egypt on Pesach, as Hashem brought us from slavery to freedom. At first glance, we would assume that this remarkable redemption was the ultimate goal, as Hashem saved us from our enemies while at the same time making His existence known to the world. Why, all of a sudden, after this great milestone has been reached, do we begin counting towards another event?
Towards the end of this week's Parsha, we read about the heinous cursing of Hashem perpetrated by a Jew in the Israelite camp. What follows is a series of laws - blasphemy is punishable by death through stoning, a murderer shall be put to death, and damage of property must be repaid through monetary compensation. Finally, in the last pasuk we are told, the blasphemer is taken outside the camp and stoned to death, as Hashem had commanded in the aforementioned series of punishments. Analyzing this passage, it seems strange that the punishments for murder and property damage were included at this point in the Torah. If the subject of this section is the felony of blasphemy, why were the seemingly irrelevant punishments for these other crimes thrown in?