Sunday, May 12, 2024

Emor - Reading #1

Emor Say — אֱמוֹר
Reading #1
Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23
My Thoughts:

Today we read about the priests obligations regarding marrying and being around dead people. Hashem sets very high standards for holiness and purity. In order for the priest to perform service before Adonai – he must be as holy as possible. We don’t have the issue of being around dead people very much. We pay funeral homes to take care of preparing bodies. But, this is just not so in the times of the Bible. Hashem makes it clear that this is not the work of a priest, in fact, he is to stay away from the dead body so that he is not defiled. Same with the marriage requirements. He is to marry a virgin, a pure woman. I really think we have no idea what holiness is. One day we will. When we are in the Olam Haba, in the presence of the Holy One, we will begin to understand His holiness and prostrate ourselves before Him.


In verse 12 we read about the “crown” upon the priest, “...for the crown of the anointing oil of his Elohim is upon him.” This is why a priest had to follow all the rules about remaining holy while in the Temple area. He was sanctified with the oil of the Temple, which permitted him to do service before Hashem. To come in contact with anything of the “world” would take away this anointing. How does this relate to us today? We obviously don’t have a Temple, but we do try to step into the “presence” of Hashem through prayer and worship and sometimes just our daily living. Today’s challenge is to look at yourself and see how close you come to being “holy”. Are  you following Torah, repenting and doing teshuvah? Let’s try each day (and throughout the day and evening) to constantly review our thoughts and actions. Make sure that they are pure. So, that when we come “before” Hashem we are holy as He is holy.

Reading #1 - Leviticus 21:1–15

Leviticus 21:1 Hashem said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, ‘A priest shall not defile himself for the dead among his people, 2 except for his relatives that are near to him: for his mother, for his father, for his son, for his daughter, for his brother, 3 and for his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband; for her he may defile himself. 4 He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

5 “‘They shall not shave their heads or shave off the corners of their beards or make any cuttings in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy to their Elohim, and not profane the name of their Elohim, for they offer the offerings of Hashem made by fire, the bread of their Elohim. Therefore they shall be holy.

7 “‘They shall not marry a woman who is a prostitute, or profane. A priest shall not marry a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his Elohim. 8 Therefore you shall sanctify him, for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for I Hashem, who sanctify you, am holy.

9 “‘The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the prostitute, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire.

10 “‘He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and who is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, or tear his clothes. 11 He must not go in to any dead body, or defile himself for his father or for his mother. 12 He shall not go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his Elohim; for the crown of the anointing oil of his Elohim is upon him. I am Hashem.

13 “‘He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 He shall not marry a widow, or one divorced, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute. He shall take a virgin of his own people as a wife. 15 He shall not profane his offspring among his people, for I am Hashem who sanctifies him.’”