Torah Portion

Emor

אמור

Leviticus 21:1-24:23
Ezekiel 44:15-31
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How the Temple Scroll Rewrote the Festival of Bikkurim

How the Temple Scroll Rewrote the Festival of Bikkurim

Throughout the Bible, we find that the land of Israel is blessed with grain, wine, and oil (דגן, תירוש, ויצהר). In the Torah, however, the festival of Bikkurim, “First Produce,” only celebrates the wheat harvest. In Qumran, the Essenes rewrote the biblical festival calendar to include two further bikkurim festivals to celebrate wine and oil.[1] 

Prof.
Marvin A. Sweeney
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A Tribute to the Blasphemer's Mother: Shelomit, Daughter of Divri

A Tribute to the Blasphemer's Mother: Shelomit, Daughter of Divri

A struggling ex-slave and single mother labors against all odds to raise her son and shield him from the prejudices of the surrounding community.

Prof.
Wendy Zierler
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Sukkot in Ezra-Nehemiah and the Date of the Torah

Sukkot in Ezra-Nehemiah and the Date of the Torah

According to Ezra (3:4) and Nehemiah (8:14-15) the returnees celebrated the holiday of Sukkot according to the law as it “was written,” but differences between their celebrations and the prescriptions in the Torah suggest that the laws they had written were slightly different than ours. Was the Torah finalized by the time Ezra-Nehemiah was written?

Dr.
Lisbeth S. Fried
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How and Why Sukkot Was Linked to the Exodus

How and Why Sukkot Was Linked to the Exodus

The scribes who wrote the addendum to the laws of Sukkot (Lev 23:42-43) used inner-biblical exegesis to explain the requirement to dwell in booths as a commemoration for the miraculous booths (not clouds) that God created for the Israelites at their first stop on the way to freedom. 

Dr. Rabbi
David Frankel
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Violating the Holiness of God's Camp: The Story of the Blasphemer

Violating the Holiness of God's Camp: The Story of the Blasphemer

The story of the half-Israelite half-Egyptian man’s cursing God highlights the larger concerns of Parashat Emor regarding the rights of gerim(strangers) and the need to maintain the holiness of the camp.

Dr.
Adriane Leveen
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Purity of Priests: Contamination through Marriage

Purity of Priests: Contamination through Marriage

The Torah (Leviticus 21) and Ezekiel (ch. 44, Haftarat Emor) regulate whom priests may marry. What rationale lies behind these laws? 

Dr.
Eve Levavi Feinstein
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The Origins of Sukkot

The Origins of Sukkot

The connection between the Israelite festival of Sukkot in the temple and the Ugaritic new year festival and its dwellings of branches for the gods.  

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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The Wood Offering Celebration – "As Written in the Torah"

The Wood Offering Celebration – "As Written in the Torah"

Bringing wood for the altar was an important celebration in Second Temple times. To ground this practice in the Torah, Nehemiah (10:35) describes it as a Torah law, while the Temple Scroll (11Q19) and the Reworked Pentateuch (4Q365) include it in their biblical festival calendar.

Dr.
Alex P. Jassen
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Does the Torah Prohibit Castrating Animals?

Does the Torah Prohibit Castrating Animals?

Jewish law prohibits the gelding of animals based on its interpretation of Leviticus 22:24. Is this what the Torah means? Why might the Torah have prohibited this and how could the prohibition function in an agrarian society dependent on draft animals?[1]

Dr.
Elaine Goodfriend
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Integrating the Exodus Story into the Festivals

Integrating the Exodus Story into the Festivals

The exodus story, which is presented as the basis for many of the Torah’s rituals, is a secondary insertion in many of these contexts.

Dr. Rabbi
David Frankel
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When Does Counting the Omer Begin?

When Does Counting the Omer Begin?

The omer or “sheaf” offering takes place ממחרת השבת, “after the Shabbat” (Leviticus 23:15). Jewish interpreters have debated the exact meaning of this phrase for two millennia, resulting in all four possible dates being adopted by one Jewish sect or another.

Prof.
Marvin A. Sweeney
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Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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The Prohibition of Shaving in the Torah and Halacha

The Prohibition of Shaving in the Torah and Halacha

The Torah prohibits a mourning ritual called tonsuring, i.e., the pulling out or cutting of hair to express sorrow. Rabbinic interpretation understood these verses as a prohibition for men to shave their beards or temples with a razor. Ibn Ezra, however, uncharacteristically rejects the rabbinic interpretation of these verses, and Shadal, who accepts ibn Ezra's reading, goes as far as to say that he himself shaves with a razor.

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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Emor

אמור

Leviticus 21:1-24:23

וְשׁוֹר אוֹ שֶׂה אֹתוֹ וְאֶת בְּנוֹ לֹא תִשְׁחֲטוּ בְּיוֹם אֶחָד׃

ויקרא כב:כח

No animal from the herd or the flock shall be slaughtered on the same day with its young.

Lev 22:28

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Leviticus

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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