Like most of the Torah portions in Leviticus Parashat Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:3) is packed with information and mitzvot.
The first aliyah has to do with laws for the priests, and commandments that would come to shape Jewish tradition about the care for the dead.
The second aliyah includes a passage forbidding priests with deformities to serve in the Temple sacrifices. That passage has caused a lot of trouble for people with disabilities. I address that trouble – and a more accurate reading of the passage – in my d’var Torah below.
Most of the rest of the Torah portion teaches us about the yearly cycle of holidays, when and how to celebrate them. Then the maftir – the final section – reminds us that there is one law for all – Jew and visitor alike. Finally a man who had cursed the camp was stoned to death. It’s an unusually grim end to a Torah portion.
There is much to ponder in Parashat Emor. Thank goodness many darshanim post divrei Torah online to help us understand it!
Is Time Ours or is it God’s? by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein
The Imperfection of Perfection by Rabbi Amy Scheinerman
The Virtue of Worry by Rabbi David Kasher (ParshaNut)
Leading Off! by Rabbi Harry Rothenburg (VIDEO) A baseball d’var Torah!
An Eye for an Eye by Rabbi Jeremy Simons
Ableism in the Torah? Say It Ain’t So! by Rabbi Ruth Adar