Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Emor / פרשת אמור

These are such loaded Parshiot! So many things to discuss, it’s hard to pick.

Books can be written in modern politically correct world about the lines devotes to who is allowed to come close to the “congregation of GD”

Books can be also written on the question of a blemished sacrifice and why it is not allowed, yet this stringency brought us to a crisis one day that we still did not overcome.

יז  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר.

17 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:

יח  דַּבֵּר אֶל-אַהֲרֹן וְאֶל-בָּנָיו, וְאֶל כָּל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ, אֲלֵהֶם:  אִישׁ אִישׁ מִבֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן-הַגֵּר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיב קָרְבָּנוֹ לְכָל-נִדְרֵיהֶם וּלְכָל-נִדְבוֹתָם, אֲשֶׁר-יַקְרִיבוּ לַיהוָה, לְעֹלָה.

18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them: Whosoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that bringeth his offering, whether it be any of their vows, or any of their free-will-offerings, which are brought unto the LORD for a burnt-offering;

יט  לִרְצֹנְכֶם:  תָּמִים זָכָר–בַּבָּקָר, בַּכְּשָׂבִים וּבָעִזִּים.

19 that ye may be accepted, ye shall offer a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.

כ  כֹּל אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ מוּם, לֹא תַקְרִיבוּ:  כִּי-לֹא לְרָצוֹן, יִהְיֶה לָכֶם.

20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not bring; for it shall not be acceptable for you.

כא  וְאִישׁ, כִּי-יַקְרִיב זֶבַח-שְׁלָמִים לַיהוָה, לְפַלֵּא-נֶדֶר אוֹ לִנְדָבָה, בַּבָּקָר אוֹ בַצֹּאן–תָּמִים יִהְיֶה לְרָצוֹן, כָּל-מוּם לֹא יִהְיֶה-בּוֹ.

21 And whosoever bringeth a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the LORD in fulfilment of a vow clearly uttered, or for a freewill-offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.

כב  עַוֶּרֶת אוֹ שָׁבוּר אוֹ-חָרוּץ אוֹ-יַבֶּלֶת, אוֹ גָרָב אוֹ יַלֶּפֶת–לֹא-תַקְרִיבוּ אֵלֶּה, לַיהוָה; וְאִשֶּׁה, לֹא-תִתְּנוּ מֵהֶם עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ–לַיהוָה.

22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scabbed, or scurvy, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.

כג  וְשׁוֹר וָשֶׂה, שָׂרוּעַ וְקָלוּט–נְדָבָה תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתוֹ, וּלְנֵדֶר לֹא יֵרָצֶה.

23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing too long or too short, that mayest thou offer for a freewill-offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.

כד  וּמָעוּךְ וְכָתוּת וְנָתוּק וְכָרוּת, לֹא תַקְרִיבוּ לַיהוָה; וּבְאַרְצְכֶם, לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ.

24 That which hath its stones bruised, or crushed, or torn, or cut, ye shall not offer unto the LORD; neither shall ye do thus in your land.

כה  וּמִיַּד בֶּן-נֵכָר, לֹא תַקְרִיבוּ אֶת-לֶחֶם אֱלֹהֵיכֶם–מִכָּל-אֵלֶּה:  כִּי מָשְׁחָתָם בָּהֶם מוּם בָּם, לֹא יֵרָצוּ לָכֶם.

25 Neither from the hand of a foreigner shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these, because their corruption is in them, there is a blemish in them; they shall not be accepted for you.

Be careful not to offend the other
The blemish in your soul leads to Bar-Kamtza
That blemish can destroy everyone.

One has to examine themselves first before they examine the animal they bring to the House of The Lord. That’s the line that I was, certainly, not the first to think of.

ג  שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים, תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, כָּל-מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ:  שַׁבָּת הִוא לַיהוָה, בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם.

3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work; it is a sabbath unto the LORD in all your dwellings.

The commandment to observe and cherish Shabbat is mentioned explicitly in the Torah in different places at least six times. This includes the specific sacrifices that were made in The Temple, and that are now fulfilled to a certain extent by praying an additional Musaf מוּסָף prayer.

The same Musaf prayer with slight wording variations is prayed during the Holidays, one of which, one can say the most “Jewish” one is coming up. It is also my favorite – Shavuot!

ט  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר. 9 And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying:
י  דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, כִּי-תָבֹאוּ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם, וּקְצַרְתֶּם אֶת-קְצִירָהּ–וַהֲבֵאתֶם אֶת-עֹמֶר רֵאשִׁית קְצִירְכֶם, אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן. 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye are come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring the sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest.
יא  וְהֵנִיף אֶת-הָעֹמֶר לִפְנֵי יְהוָה, לִרְצֹנְכֶם; מִמָּחֳרַת, הַשַּׁבָּת, יְנִיפֶנּוּ, הַכֹּהֵן. 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
יב  וַעֲשִׂיתֶם, בְּיוֹם הֲנִיפְכֶם אֶת-הָעֹמֶר, כֶּבֶשׂ תָּמִים בֶּן-שְׁנָתוֹ לְעֹלָה, לַיהוָה. 12 And in the day when ye wave the sheaf, ye shall offer a he-lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt-offering unto the LORD.
יג  וּמִנְחָתוֹ שְׁנֵי עֶשְׂרֹנִים סֹלֶת בְּלוּלָה בַשֶּׁמֶן, אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה–רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ; וְנִסְכֹּה יַיִן, רְבִיעִת הַהִין. 13 And the meal-offering thereof shall be two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour; and the drink-offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.
יד  וְלֶחֶם וְקָלִי וְכַרְמֶל לֹא תֹאכְלוּ, עַד-עֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה–עַד הֲבִיאֲכֶם, אֶת-קָרְבַּן אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:  חֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם, בְּכֹל מֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם.  {ס} 14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor fresh ears, until this selfsame day, until ye have brought the offering of your God; it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. {S}
טו  וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם, מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת, מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם, אֶת-עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה:  שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה. 15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete;
טז  עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת, תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם; וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה, לַיהוָה. 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD.
יז  מִמּוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם תָּבִיאּוּ לֶחֶם תְּנוּפָה, שְׁתַּיִם שְׁנֵי עֶשְׂרֹנִים–סֹלֶת תִּהְיֶינָה, חָמֵץ תֵּאָפֶינָה:  בִּכּוּרִים, לַיהוָה. 17 Ye shall bring out of your dwellings two wave-loaves of two tenth parts of an ephah; they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven, for first-fruits unto the LORD.

This is a holiday when I can eat dairy with a blessing! And boy, do I make lots of dairy food. Recipes to follow.

כא  וּקְרָאתֶם בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם–כָּל-מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה, לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ:  חֻקַּת עוֹלָם בְּכָל-מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם, לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם. 21 And ye shall make proclamation on the selfsame day; there shall be a holy convocation unto you; ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

Gather the people in Jerusalem!

Celebrate your achievements, bring the first fruit to the LORD!

Thank your Gd for the blessings He sent you, just don’t stray and you’ll be glad.

Finally, I am putting here a quote from a great Rabbi. It can easily go under any part of the Torah, but, is very appropriate here, in the Parshah talking about kohanim. Do read it in full.

“Judaism teaches us not how to die but how to live so that, even in life, we may overcome death, lack of freedom, the enslavement to physical things and moral weakness. Judaism teaches us how to spend every moment of a life marked by moral freedom, thought, aspirations, creativity and achievement, along with the enjoyment of physical pleasures, as one more moment in life’s constant service to the everlasting God.”

(Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch)

Shabbat Shalom!


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