Parshat Emor 5784: Kiddush Hashem, and 7 October?

Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Emor is being sponsored anonymously and dedicated Lilui Nishmas HaRav Yehuda Leib HaKohen ben HaRav Moshe Shimon HaKohen and Miriam bat Reb Menachem Mendel and Reb Zev Avraham ben Shlomo and wife Sima as well as dedicated for the safety of the Chayalim and the liberation of all hostages and that they’re brought home whole physically, mentally and spiritually as well as for the good health and security of kol Am Yisrael. To our anonymous sponsor, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
skype: mark.burt3


Parshat Emor 5784: Kiddush Hashem, and 7 October?

by Moshe Burt

In Parsha Emor, we learn how the Avodah, the Service of the Kohanim necessitated them “…to maintain an especially high standard of purity and perfection.” (L’lmod L’Lamed, Rabbi Mordechai Katz, Parsha Emor, page 119) These high standards of purity and perfection demanded of Kohanim seem to this author to extend, in many or most respects, to Kol Am Yisrael.

Torah states:

“You shall not desecrate My Holy Name, rather I should be sanctified among the B’nei Yisrael; I am Hashem Who sanctifues You.” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 22, posuk 32 as rendered to English in the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash)

The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash describes the Sanctification of Hashem’s name in this way (page 681) :

The primary privilege and responsibility of every Jew, great or small, is to Sanctify Hashem’s Name through his behavior, whether among Jews or among gentiles.

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin discusses this posuk in his sefer, “Unlocking the Torah Text” (pages 191 -192) :

Why is this mandate specifically placed at this point in the Torah text?

Some commentaries, including the Ibn Ezra, interpret the dual mandate concerning the sanctification and non-profanation of Hashem’s Name as a concluding directive to the Kohanim.

By publicly following Hashem’s commandments to the letter, these scholars maintain, the Kohanim will actively sanctify Hashem’s Name “in the midst of the B’nei Yisrael.

The vast majority of the authorities, however, choose to understand these verses much more broadly, as an overarching imperative directed at the entire nation.

Now, after the global directive at the beginning of Parshat Kedoshim: “Holy shall you be” (Rabbi Goldin citing Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posuk 2), [through Parshat Kedoshim and half of our Parshat Emor] outlining a wide range of precepts designed to guide man toward the goal of holiness, Hashem caps… with a second overriding global imperative (Rabbi Goldin citing Nechama Leibowitz, Inyanim Chadashim B’Sefer Vayikra, pages 322 – 323) :

“And you shall observe My Commandments and perform them; I am the Lord. And you shall not profane My Holy Name, and I will be sanctified in the midst of B’nei Yisrael; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” (Rabbi Goldin rendered to English Sefer Vayikra, Perek 22, posukim 31 – 32)

Through the eyes of these scholars, the verses… emerge as the source of two towering commandments: the positive Mitzva of Kiddush Hashem (Sanctification of Hashem’s name) and the prohibition of chillul Hashem (desecration of Hashem’s name). No commandments in Torah speak more clearly to the depth and breadth of our obligation as Jews.

Rabbi Goldin writes from a perspective of Torah education. He writes (ibid, pages 197 -198) :

The yardstick simply defined: bottom line, are we raising children who will sanctify the name of Heaven [Shem Shamayim] during their lifetimes? More to the point are our children’s personal attributes, their character traits and their approach to the world around them. …How do you train children to feel special without feeling superior; to take pride in their traditions without denigrating [verb (used with object) to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame: to treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle] the traditions of others? ….If that pride, however turns to hubris [noun: excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance], and our children lose sight of the inherent value of others, their ability to sanctify Hashem’s name is sorely compromised.

It seems that among generations of politicians, governmental and national leaders, and The Military High Command have fostered a degree of superiority, of arrogance toward their subordinates, their fellow Jews such that their threats and intimidations of their subordinates seem constituting an immense Chillul Hashem and have led us to the strategic military quagmire [noun: a situation from which extrication is very difficult] we currently face in winning this war, eradicating ALL of the terror animals of Hamas, etc. and Liberating the remaining hostages.

May it be that our Chayalim emerge totally victorious — eradicating, from the face of the earth, Hamas, their terrorist buddies and the so-called “innocent civilians” of Gaza who joined with Hamas in their murderous deeds, and that the Chayalim return home whole — physically, mentally and spiritually and that the Chayalim Liberate and bring home all remaining hostages. And may we see the restoration of true unity within Am Yisrael.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently re-settled in Gush Katif, once the IDF, by the Yad Hashem, destructs and eradicates the wild beasts of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, all other terror entities, and if necessary Iran, and that our brethren be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them, that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes and the oft-destroyed Yeshiva buildings in Homesh be rebuilt, as well as the buildings of Yishuv Elchanan, all at total government expense. May our Chayalim return from battle unharmed — physically, mentally and spiritually and may all of the hostages brutally taken by the wild beasts of Hamas be liberated and returned to their families. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is now in his fourth year at home in Eretz Yisrael and continues in a new chapter in his life. May Esther Yocheved bat Yechiel Avraham have an aliyah in Shemayim and may her spirit and memory continue to lift Jonathan to at least 120 years. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of nine years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we see, in 5784, the REAL Jews from the Ukraine and Russia as well as the US and Canada, the real Jews via matrilineal descent, make Aliyah enmass — via thorough review by Misrad HaPanim. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese Wuhan Lab corona virus pandemic and all like viruses and variants. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.