Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

 Emor (Say)
(Sefer Vayikra) Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23


22:2- “Speak to Aharon and to his sons, that they make separation from the holy things of the children of Yisrael and profane not My holy name in that which they sanctify unto Me: I am YHVH.
15- And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Yisrael which they offer to YHVH.
25- Neither from a stranger's hand shall ye offer the bread of your Elohim of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes are in them: they shall not be accepted for you.
32- Neither shall ye profane My holy name; but I will be sanctified among the children of Yisrael: I am YHVH, who sanctifies you.
24:2- Command the children of Yisrael that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.
3- Outside the veil of the testimony in the tent of the meeting shall Aharon order it from evening to morning before YHVH continually: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.
5- And thou shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.
6- And thou shall set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before YHVH.
7- And thou shall put pure frankincense upon each row that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto YHVH.
8- Every shabbat he shall set it in order before YHVH continually, being taken from the children of Yisrael by an everlasting covenant.
9- And it shall be Aharon's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of YHVH made by fire by a perpetual statute.
10- And the son of a Yisraelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Yisrael: and this son of the Yisraelite woman and a man of Yisrael strove together in the camp.
11- And the Yisraelite woman's son blasphemed the name of YHVH and cursed. And they brought him unto Moshe: and his mother's name was Shlomit, the daughter of Divri, of the tribe of Dan.
15- And to the sons of Yisrael shall you speak, saying, Whoever curses his Elohim shall bear his sin.
16- And he that blasphemes the name of YHVH, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemes the name of YHVH, shall be put to death.
17- And he that kills any man shall surely be put to death.
19- And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbor; as he has done, so shall it be done to him;
22- Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am YHVH your Elohim.
23- And Moshe spoke to the children of Yisrael that they take out him that had cursed outside the camp and stone him by stones. And the children of Yisrael did as YHVH commanded Moshe.”

 

“Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my
habitation; and honor thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the
offerings of Yisrael my people?”
(1 Samuel 2:29)
“For the kohain's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the Torah at his mouth,
for he is the messenger of YHVH Tzivaot. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused
many to stumble at the Torah; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says YHVH Tzivaot.”
(Malachi 2:7-8)
“And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have
profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am YHVH, says Adonai YHVH,
when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”
(Ezekiel 36:23)
“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them
to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
(Ezekiel 44:23)
“For TZion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Yerushalayim's sake I will not rest, until the
righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns.”
(Isaiah 62:1)

 

Emor Summary:
1. Eating no Accursed Thing But that which Brings Life:

In a section of Torah carefully delineating the Feasts of HaShem, parasha Emor says more about diet and the results thereof than often finds our plates. Commencing with prohibitions regarding the holy offerings of the kohanim and culminating with the blasphemer of the Name eating his just dessert, truly our palates must be elevated to the holy, digesting only what is wholesome, as Job 34:3 relates:
“For the ear tries words, as the mouth tastes meat.”
Learning the lesson from the son of Shlomit, the one who did not savor the sanctity of the Name and instead, preferred a taste for the profane, Sefer Mishlei offers up the recipes for life and death.
Beginning with Proverbs 18:21, the foundation of nourishing words is laid, as it is written:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Likewise, that what is said does indeed feed the fate of a man, Proverbs 13:2 supplies us this insight:
“A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.”
So toxic are the words of the blasphemer that hearers will themselves ail from their malnourishment.
The permeability of desecrating words, which should make us nauseous, is confirmed in Proverbs 18:8:
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
Yet, beyond the prescription for bad eating, the wise sayings of this book lead us to a better cuisine.
Opening with the ingredients to ensure our sustenance, Proverbs 1:8 delivers the menu for life:
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the Torah of thy mother.”
Speaking of these wholesome words of Torah’s Wisdom, Proverbs 3:17-18 invites the hungry to dine:
“Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them
that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retains her.”
Proceeding in Proverbs 15:4-5, the menu now read, the healthy choice remains before us as is written:
“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. A fool
despises his father's instruction: but he that regards reproof is prudent.”
Ominously reminded of Eli and his sons, who spurned the prepared provisions, Proverbs 30:11 warns:
“There is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless their mother.”

 

2. A Burning Lamp, the Sign of and for a Watchful Kohain:
As continuous as the Menorah was to burn, so telling is the scene in the old kohain’s quarters, a flag signaling his neglect of office, he was no longer light to Yisrael as 1 Samuel 3:2-3 obscurely says,
“And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax
dim, that he could not see; And before the lamp of Elohim went out in the temple of YHVH,
where the ark of Elohim was, and Shmuel was laid down to sleep…”
With a distant rebuke of an echoed past, Ezekiel 22:26 shines light upon HaShem’s Holy standards:
“Her kohanim have violated My Torah, and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no
difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean
and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My shabbats, and I am profaned among them.”
As if breaking through the blackness of night, Proverbs 20:20 invigorates our sight with Torah’s flame:
“Whoso curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.”
The kohanim were to regularly set things in order; even as on each shabbat, the twelve loaves were to placed in a row, so must the sons of Yisrael be properly arranged as Proverbs 6:23 extinguishes darkness:
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the Torah is light; reproofs of instruction, the way of life.”

 

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