פ’ אמור תשע”ח
Volume 23, Issue 8
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholars’ Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
Parshat Emor commences with a severe warning to the Kohanim not to defile themselves through any uncleanliness, especially through contact with the dead who are not among the seven close family members.
The parsha concludes with a broad description of all the Yomim Tovim celebrated throughout the year and which are days of joy and rest. The combination of these topics, in this order, teaches us a general lesson in life. Even during the days of sorrow, hardship and suffering, we must not let ourselves fall into a state of depression and loss of hope. We must overcome our anguish, and hope for better days, days of joy and celebration. (Torah Gems)
מועדי ה’ אשר תקראו אתם מקראי קדש אלה הם מועדי
“Hashem’s appointed festivals which you shall designate as callings of holiness, these are My appointed festivals…” (23:2)
Why does the verse repeat that these are “My Yomim Tovim”? The Torah is telling us that they are only called “Mo’adei Hashem” if one sanctifies the days by occupying himself with spiritual pursuits. However, if one squanders these days on mundane matters, then it is not “Mo’adei Hashem.” (Seforno)
שבע שבתות תמימות תהיינה
“Seven weeks, they shall be complete…”(23:15)
When are these weeks complete? When Klal Yisrael does the will of Hashem (Vayikra Rabbah 28:3). We count from Pesach until Shavuot to demonstrate that the two are connected. Pesach is the geulas haguf, our physical redemption, and Shavuot is the geulas hanefesh, our spiritual redemption. One is not completely free until he has a geulas hanefesh; until then, one is still a slave to his yetzer hara. By fulfilling the will of Hashem during this period of sefirah, one will merit temimos tih’yenah – the fusion of what Pesach and Shavuot represent, to achieve a complete redemption. (Maharam Shick)
בחדש השביעי באחד לחדש יהיה לכם שבתון זכרון תרועה מקרא קדש
“In the seventh month on the first of the month, there shall be a rest day for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation…” (23:24)
Rosh Hashana, which we celebrate at the beginning of Tishrei, is mentioned twice in the Torah in two different places: here and Bamidbar (29:1-6). All in all the Torah ascribes eight verses to this Yom Tov, five of which deal with the Korbanot of the Yom Tov, much less than is ascribed to any other Yom Tov mentioned in the Torah.
Rav Kahane replied: One verse states “Yom teruah yi’hiyeh lachem” – “A day of blasting it shall be for you” (Bamidbar 29:1); and another verse states “Zichron teruah mikrah kodesh” – “A memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns (Vayikra 23:24). How can both of these verses be fulfilled? When Rosh Hashana falls out on a weekday, it is a “Yom teruah” and when it falls out on Shabbat it is a “Zichron teruah”, where it is retained by reading the verses that pertain to the shofar, but not by actually blowing the shofar.
The question is asked at this point: Usually, Rosh Hashana falls on a Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday. Why then does the Torah mention “Zichron teruah” which is applied to Rosh Hashana that falls out on a Shabbat, before “Yom teruah”, which is applied to Rosh Hashana that falls on a weekday and which is usually the case?
Our Sages reply: We have already learned that Bnei Yisrael left Mitzrayim on the fifth day of the week (Seder Olam 5) and because Rosh Hashana always falls on the same day as the third day of Pesach, we conclude that the first Rosh Hashana that Bnei Yisrael observed in the midbar was on Shabbat. Therefore, the Torah deems it proper to mention “Zichron teruah” before mentioning “Yom teruah”. (Parparot La’Torah)
This week’s Divrei Torah is sponsored by Hal & Debbie Chadow in honor of David & Joelle’s wedding on Sunday. For future sponsorship opportunities please call Steve Zuckerman at 516.652.5266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Lichter at email@example.com. Sponsorships in memory of or in honor of someone are $50.00 per issue.