כ׳ בְּאִיָיר תשע״ב
Shabat 20th of Iyyar, 5772
Saturday, 12th of May 2012
The Blasphemer (ink and watercolor circa 1800 by William Blake)
Even when times are tough,
we still must give.
By Alana Alpert
Tzedakah can seem unnatural: we never want to give up what we have. When we have a lot, we say, “It’s mine--I worked hard for it and I want to keep it.” When we don’t have a lot or are worried that we won’t, we say, “It’s mine--I need it, so I can’t give it away.” The instinct to hoard is common, and the Torah goes out of its way to urge against it.
In the middle of a discussion about the festivals, Parashat Emor repeats the mitzvah we learned last week in Parashat Kedoshim: “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23:22).
READ MORE FROM OTHER
Emor for Families, from Torah Topics for Today
Some Days Count More Than Others, from Hillel
Sanctifiers of Time, from Orthodox Union
The Pursuit of Happiness, from American Jewish University
Sacred Time & Space, from AJWS
Our Relationship to Other Creatures, from Canfei Nesharim
Life & Love, from CLAL
Purity & Beauty, from Women of Reform Judaism
*TORAH FOR CHILDREN*
And not to forget to teach them Also
Science, Technology, Arts, Sports .....
* EMOR *
God gives Moses a series of laws
specific to the priests; God then
instructs Moses to tell the people
about the festivals in addition to
laws of blasphemy and murder
By Nancy Reuben
- God gives Moses the laws specific to Aaron and all the priests. Priests are to stay pure and holy. They are not to have contact with the dead, nor profane the Name of God, nor marry a harlot nor even marry a divorced person. When the daughter of a priest degrades herself through harlotry, it is her father whom she degrades, and she must be burned in fire.
- The High Priest must abide by additional rules. He must not let his hair on his head grow wild. He must not tear his garments in mourning, nor have contact with the dead. He must not go out of the Sanctuary. He must marry a virgin from among his people. If he becomes blemished, he must not approach the altar to bring an offering to God
* HAFTARAH *
- *EMOR *
- The haftarah selection is from Ezekiel 44:15-31.
In the haftarah for Parashat Emor Ezekiel prophesies about the rules for the priests that will serve in the Third Temple, to be built at an unspecified, apocalyptic future date. He specifies that the priests must wear specific garments, and are commanded to keep their hair cut neatly. They cannot drink wine while they are performing their priestly duties, and they are prohibited from marrying women who are divorced or widowed (unless the widow was originally married to a priest).
The priests Ezekiel describes are charged with teaching the people of Israel about what is sacred and what is profane, what is pure and what is impure. They act as judges for the people, ruling according to the Torah. They are prohibited from going near a corpse unless it is the body of a person in their immediate families.
Finally, God stipulates that the priests should not be given a portion of the land in Israel. God is their portion, and they partake of the sacrifices, and benefit from some of the tithes.Connection to the ParashahIn Parashat Emor, Moses explains the rules of priesthood as dictated to him by God. In the haftarah, Ezekiel functions as a messenger between God and the people, also giving the laws for the priests. These parallel narratives emphasize the idea of continuity from the time of the Torah to the later prophets.
- JEWISH WORLD NEWS