Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Emor
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Hana Bat Haim

Parashat Emor



Rabbi Stanley Fass

In this week's parasha, we read about the law of chadash (Vayikra 23:11-14) that one is not permitted to eat of the new grain until the Omer offering is brought on the 16th day of Nissan.

The Mishna in Menachot 83b teaches that all communal and individual meal offerings may be brought from grain grown in Israel or abroad, either from chadash (new grain) or yashan (old grain), except for the Omer offering (brought on Pesach) and the Two Loaves offering (brought on Shavu'ot), both of which must be brought from new grain that had been grown in Israel.

This law is codified in the Mishna Torah of Maimonides, Laws of Beit Habechira 7:12, which states: "The entire Land of Israel has greater sanctity than all other lands. How is its sanctity expressed? In that the Omer offering, the Two Loaves offering and Bikurim (first fruit) are brought from produce grown there, and not from produce grown in other lands."

What is the message of this halacha in our time, when chadash and yashan are determined by the date, and not by the offering brought in the Temple? The message may be that when one must choose between buying goods produced in Israel and goods produced outside of Israel, one should opt for the Israeli product. The holiness of the Land of Israel is transferred to its produce, as seen in the Law of Omer. Supporting Israel’s economy, especially in these difficult times, is of critical importance.

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