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Emor – Haftarah
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This week’s haftarah focuses on how priests of the future will conduct themselves. While the match to the Torah reading’s opening discussion of the rules for priests is clear, these chapters challenge us in their portrayal, since it differs in important ways from what we see portrayed in the Torah and the Book of Kings, […]
Two Aspects of Chesed
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And Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying: Speak to Bnai Yisrael and say unto them, “The appointed times of Hashem, which you shall proclaim to be sacred convocations, these are My appointed times:” (Sefer VaYikra 23:1-2) And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corner of your field. Neither […]
Parshat Emor: Cosmos and History
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Mircea Eliade, a leading scholar of religions during the twentieth century, contrasted two conceptions of time. Cosmic time is circular whereas historical time is progressive. The cosmic conception of time was prevalent in ancient times and reflected the world of nature in which the seasons reoccur each year. Despite being a fascist anti-Semite, Eliade credited […]
Parshat Emor: Appropriate and Excessive Mourning
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And to his virgin sister who is close to him, that is not married, for her he may become ritually unclean. (VaYikra 21:3) 1. The Torah source for the commandment to mourn the death of relatives A kohen is generally prohibited from becoming ritually unclean. This prohibition restricts a kohen from contact with a dead […]