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The Eternal One said to Moses: "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: None shall defile himself for any [dead] person among his kin, . . ."  - Leviticus 21:1

  • Laws regulating the lives and sacrifices of the priests are presented. (21:1-22:33)
  • The set times of the Jewish calendar are named and described: the Sabbath, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the Pilgrimage Festivals of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot. (23:1-44)
  • God commands the Israelites to bring clear olive oil for lighting the sanctuary menorah. The ingredients and placement of the displayed loaves of sanctuary bread are explained. (24:1-9)
  • Laws dealing with profanity, murder, and the maiming of others are outlined. (24:10-23)

When do we read Emor?

2015 May 9 /20 Iyyar, 5775
2016 May 21 /13 Iyyar, 5776
2017 May 13 /17 Iyyar, 5777


  • By Robert Tornberg

    In the Babylonian Talmud (M'nachot 29b) there is a wonderful midrash1 in which Moses is depicted as watching God sitting and writing crowns (embellishments that look a bit like crowns) on some of the letters in the Torah. Moses asked God why the Holy One was doing this. God responded "There is a man who will appear at the end of several generations and Akiva ben Yosef is his name. And he will need these crowns, because from each and every mark he will derive scores and scores of laws." (In a sense, Akiva will create midrash to explain the presence of these marks, and anything else unusual in the text of Torah.)

    Moses retorted, "Ruler of the Universe, show this man to me." The Holy One said, "Turn around!"

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