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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Emor

An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Emor

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Our Sedra begins with laws of the Kohanim & the Kohen Gadol, who must maintain a unique standard of purity. A Kohen may not come into contact with a corpse, or attend a funeral (except for immediate family members). They are also restricted as to who they may marry. Certain physical blemishes may disqualify a Kohen from performing the Avodah.

The nation is commanded to keep itself Holy. Non-Kohanim must give a portion of Teruma from the harvest in Eretz Yisrael to the Kohen. We must never desecrate the name of Hashem; rather, we should sanctify G-d's name in word & deed.

The Parsha then discusses the various Festivals of the year, "Moadim" - meeting places in time between us & Hashem. The Menora must be lit each day; & the Lechem HaPanim (12 loaves of bread baked once a week which miraculously stayed fresh) were a sign of Divine sustenance for the nation.

The Sedra ends with the incident of the Blasphemer who cursed G-d's name & was then executed.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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