Erev Shabbos Kodesh Shabbos Emor Inspiration 5774

Parashas Emor primarily discusses the laws of the Kohanim and the sacrifices offered on the Festivals. The parasha begins with the words (Vayikra 21:1)  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה אֱמֹר אֶל הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם לְנֶפֶשׁ לֹא יִטַּמָּא בְּעַמָּיו, HaShem said to Moshe: Say to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and tell them: Each of you shall not contaminate himself to a [dead] person among his people. Rashi cites the Gemara that states that the double expression of אֱמֹר , וְאָמַרְתָּ , teaches us that the adult Kohanim should instruct the minor Kohanim regarding the laws of purity and impurity.


It is noteworthy that a similar expression appears elsewhere (Devarim 26:17-18) where it is said אֶת יְ-ה-וָ-ה הֶאֱמַרְתָּ הַיּוֹם לִהְיוֹת לְךָ לֵאלֹהִים וְלָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו וְלִשְׁמֹר חֻקָּיו וּמִצְוֹתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְלִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ: {יח}וַי-ה-וָ-ה הֶאֱמִירְךָ הַיּוֹם לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לְעַם סְגֻלָּה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָךְ וְלִשְׁמֹר כָּל מִצְוֹתָיו, you have distinguished HaShem today to be a G-d for you and to walk in His ways, and to observe His decrees, His commandments, and His statutes, and to hearken to His voice. And HaShem has distinguished you today to be for Him a treasured people, as He spoke to you, and to observe all His commandments. Rashi writes that the words הֶאֱמַרְתָּ and הֶאֱמִירְךָ are also associated with praise.


Regarding the clothing of the Kohanim it is said (Shemos 28:2) וְעָשִׂיתָ בִגְדֵי קֹדֶשׁ לְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ לְכָבוֹד וּלְתִפְאָרֶת, you shall make vestments of sanctity for Aharon your brother, for glory and splendor.  We can interpret the verse here in Emor to mean that the Kohanim should be reminded of their תִּפְאֶרֶת, their splendor. Furthermore, this dictum applies to all the Jewish People, as it is said (Ibid 19:6) וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר תְּדַבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, you shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Children of Israel.  HaShem referred to the entire Jewish People as מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים, holy ministers. All of our actions should reflect the Mishna in Avos (2:1) that states רַבִּי אוֹמֵר, אֵיזוֹהִי דֶרֶךְ יְשָׁרָה שֶׁיָּבוֹר לוֹ הָאָדָם, כֹּל שֶׁהִיא תִפְאֶרֶת לְעוֹשֶׂיהָ וְתִפְאֶרֶת לוֹ מִן הָאָדָם,Rebbe would say: Which is the right path for man to choose for himself? Whatever is תִפְאֶרֶת, harmonious, for the one who does it, and תִפְאֶרֶת, harmonious for mankind.


HaShem should allow us to lead glorious lives, dedicated to His service.


Have a Splendorous Shabbos


RabbI Adler




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