Parshat Emor – May 1, 2021 – 19 Iyyar 5781

Daf Hashavua – A weekly digest of the Parshat Hashavua

Parshat Emor

  • Stone Chumash, p. 672 (124 verses)
  • Haftorah: Ezekiel 44:15-31, Stone Chumash pg. 1176
  • Pirkei Avot: Chapter 4

Important Shabbat Times

  • 34th day of the Omer
  • Candle lighting:     7:31p
  • Vasikin (Sunrise):  6:12:02a
  • Latest Shmah          9:36a
  • Earliest Mincha      1:35p
  • Havdalah:                8:31p
  • Zoom Havdalah      8:45p

General Intro

Parshat Emor contains several themes: 

  • 1) The laws of the Kohen. Which relatives may he may come in contact with after their death.
  • 2) Whom he may marry. 
  • 3) The laws relating to the High Priest.
  • 4) Personal blemishes which disqualify a Kohen from active service. 
  • 5)The Kohen may eat Teruma. His daughter may eat as well, so long as she is single or chooses to marry a Kohen.
  • 6) The blemishes which disqualify an animal sacrifice. 
  • 7) The proscription against slaughtering a mother and her offspring on the same day. 
  • 8) The Jewish festivals and their concomitant sacrifices 
  • 9) The blasphemer from the tribe of Dan

Haftorah – Ezekiel describes the elevation of the Kohanim in the era of the Third Temple. 

The Moral of the Story

     Of all the mitzvot of the Torah, Martyrdom is the ultimate expression of fealty to G-d and Judaism. Our parsha tells us, “And I shall be sanctified in the Midst of the people of Israel” (Lev. 22:32).  Giving one’s life for Judaism is one mitzvah which we pray we never have to accomplish, yet one for which we must always be prepared. Each morning we recite a special blessing, Mikadesh et Shmo borabim,  “Blessed are You O G-d, who sanctifies His name in public.” We recite this blessing  “just in case,” i.e., if we would be faced with the ultimate test, we would be covered with the blessing we recited in the morning. Still, the likelihood of such a situation occurring in normal times is more than remote. How did it become part of our daily prayers? Is there perhaps another way to fulfill this Mitzvah?

The Mussar books teach that if at the time of our daily reciting of the Shma we imagine that at that very moment we imagine that we are giving our lives to G-d, it is considered as if we actually did it. We would then be in fulfillment of the verse  “For your name we are martyred each and every day.”