Parshat Emor

Leviticus: 21:1-24:2

  1. [21:7] A Kohen (priest) cannot marry a divorcee, but he can marry a widow. What is the meaning of this distinction?
  1. [22:32] “Don’t desecrate my holy name, and make Me holy among the Israelites.” How can one “make God holy” in everyday life.

3 [22:32] When God tells us that we should publicize God’s holiness among the Israelites, He mentions that he took us out of Egypt. Why is our coming out of Egypt mentioned so many times in relation to the commandments?

  1. [23:24-23:44] It has been said that the Torah makes everyday life holy. If so, then why are there so many festivals which introduce to us a higher holiness than the everyday?
  1. [24:1] Why does the section about the candelabrum and the lights come immediately after the festivals are discussed?
  1. [24:10] When the son of the Israelite woman curses God’s name, Moshe doesn’t know what to do with him and has to ask God. What does the fact that he didn’t know add to the story and what does it add to our understanding of Moshe?


[22:33] Why is the section about the festivals written immediately after the Israelites are told “I (God) will be made holy among the Israelites. I am God who makes you holy”?

The holiness of the Sabbath comes from God. The holiness of the festivals, however, comes from the Jewish people and not only from God. The day of the festival is decided by when the new month begins. And the new month is determined by when the witnesses come to the judges to tell them that they saw the new moon in the sky. Therefore, the people decide which day the festival should fall on.

The Torah tells us here that the Israelites are holy—that God gave them the power of holiness. Therefore, they have the power to introduce holiness into the festivals.

— Rabbi Yitzchak Mayer of Gur

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer


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