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Taamei Hamitzvos: The Shemitah Restrictions within Yovel
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כִּי יוֹבֵל הִוא קֹדֶשׁ תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם מִן הַשָּׂדֶה תֹּאכְלוּ אֶת תְּבוּאָתָהּ. בִּשְׁנַת הַיּוֹבֵל הַזֹּאת תָּשֻׁבוּ אִישׁ אֶל אֲחֻזָּתוֹ. For it is the Yovel year, it shall be holy to you, from the field you may eat its crop. In this Yovel year you shall return each man to his ancestral heritage (25:12-13) These pesukim mention […]
Sanctifying the Kohen
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וְקִדַּשְׁתּוֹ כִּי אֶת לֶחֶם אֱלֹקֶיךָ הוּא מַקְרִיב קָדֹשׁ יִהְיֶה לָּךְ You shall sanctify him (the kohen), for he offers the food of your God; he shall be holy to you (21:8) A “Kohen’s Mitzvah” for the Jewish People The beginning of Parshas Emor deals with the special mitzvos that apply to the kohanim, such as […]
False Oaths and Chillul Hashem: From Plural to Singular
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וְלֹא תִשָּׁבְעוּ בִשְׁמִי לַשָּׁקֶר וְחִלַּלְתָּ אֶת שֵׁם אֱלֹהֶיךָ You shall not swear falsely by My Name, thereby desecrating the Name of your God (19:12) The connection between the two concepts mentioned in our pasuk is quite clear, a false oath in made in Hashem’s Name is a desecration of that Name. It is interesting to […]
Yom Kippur, the Parah Adumah and the Breaking of the Luchos
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וַיְדַבֵּר ה’ אֶל מֹשֶׁה אַחֲרֵי מוֹת שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן… בְּזֹאת יָבֹא אַהֲרֹן אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ Hashem spoke to Moshe after the death of the two sons of Aharon…  With this shall Aharon come into the Sanctuary (16:1-3) Three Statements of Chazal regarding the Death of Tzaddikim The Yerushalmi in Maseches Yoma[1] records three statements regarding the […]
The Metzora’s Chatas – A Unique Korban
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וְעָשָׂה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת הַחַטָּאת וְכִפֶּר עַל הַמִּטַּהֵר מִטֻּמְאָתוֹ The Kohen shall perform the sin-offering service, and atone for the person being purified from his impurity (14:19) Attention to Detail The final phrase of our pasuk – “for the person being purified from his impurity” – seems somewhat repetitive; after all, purity is the opposite of […]
Tzoraas and the Kohen; Examining the Metzora
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Tzoraas and the Kohen אָדָם כִּי יִהְיֶה בְעוֹר בְּשָׂרוֹ… לְנֶגַע צָרָעַת וְהוּבָא אֶל אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן אוֹ אֶל אַחַד מִבָּנָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים If a person will on the skin of his flesh… an affliction of tzoraas, he shall be brought to Aharon the Kohen, or to one of his sons the kohanim. (13:2) Why is the treatment […]
Moshe, Aharon and the Burned Chatas Offering
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וְאֵת שְׂעִיר הַחַטָּאת דָּרֹשׁ דָּרַשׁ מֹשֶׁה וְהִנֵּה שֹׂרָף וַיִּקְצֹף עַל אֶלְעָזָר וְעַל אִיתָמָר בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַנּוֹתָרִם לֵאמֹר. מַדּוּעַ לֹא אֲכַלְתֶּם אֶת הַחַטָּאת בִּמְקוֹם הַקֹּדֶשׁ… אָכוֹל תֹּאכְלוּ אֹתָהּ בַּקֹּדֶשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוֵּיתִי. וַיְדַבֵּר אַהֲרֹן אֶל מֹשֶׁה… וַתִּקְרֶאנָה אֹתִי כָּאֵלֶּה וְאָכַלְתִּי חַטָּאת הַיּוֹם הַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵי ה’. Moshe inquired regarding the goat of the sin-offering and behold, it had […]
Inner and Outer Korbanos
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וְכָל חַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר יוּבָא מִדָּמָהּ אֶל אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד… לֹא תֵאָכֵל בָּאֵשׁ תִּשָּׂרֵף Any sin-offering from which blood has been brought to the Tent of Meeting… shall not be eaten, it shall be burned in fire. (6:23) According to R’ Yose Haglili, this pasuk is expressing the halachah regarding all “inner” chatas (sin) offerings, i.e., those […]
The Gemara, the Ibn Ezra and the Ohr Sameach
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וְאִם לֹא תַגִּיע יָדוֹ דֵּי שֶׂה וְהֵבִיא… שְׁתֵּי תֹרִים אוֹ שְׁנֵי בְנֵי יוֹנָה לַה’ אֶחָד לְחַטָּאת וְאֶחָד לְעֹלָה. If his means are insufficient to obtain a sheep he shall bring … two turtledoves or two young doves to Hashem, one as a sin-offering and one as an olah-offering. (Vayikra 5:7). This week’s discussion comes, not […]
From the Haftarah: Revealed and Concealed Kedushah
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וַיֹּאמֶר ה’ אֶל דָּוִד אָבִי יַעַן אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עִם לְבָבְךָ לִבְנוֹת בַּיִת לִשְׁמִי הֱטִיבֹתָ כִּי הָיָה עִם לְבָבֶךָ. רַק אַתָּה לֹא תִבְנֶה הַבָּיִת כִּי אִם בִּנְךָ. Hashem said to my father, David, “since it has been in your heart to build a Temple for My Name, you have done well by having this in your heart. […]