Torah Tidbits

2 September 2014 / 7 Elul 5774
Issue 1042
Shabbat Parshat Emor
April 25, 2013

Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder - Emor

1) Why does the Torah mention mother before father when instructing a Kohein that he can participate in their burial (21:2) but then switch to father first when commanding the Kohein Gadol that he cannot attend their burials (21:11)?
2) Why does the Torah switch from the usual terminology for Aharon’s children, BANAV, meaning SONS, and use the term ZARACHA which literally means OFFSPRING, when commanding him about blemishes which make kohanim unfit for Temple service (21:17)?
3) Why does the Torah begin the laws of Yom Kippur with the word ACH, HOWEVER (23:27)?

Parsha Points to Ponder by Rabbi Dov Lipman, MK - Rabbi Lipman is Chaver Knesset, (Yesh Atid), an educator, author .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Ponder the questions first, then see below

Suggested answers
1) The Kli Yakar answers that one might have thought that there are allowances for the Kohein to be involved in the burial of his father since his father is also a Kohein. Therefore, when allowing the Kohein to bury his parents, the allowance regarding the mother is the most surprising and, therefore, she is mentioned first. When not allowing the Kohein Gadol to bury his parents, the prohibition regarding his father is most surprising and, therefore, he is mentioned first.
2) The Ohr HaChayim teaches that this change indicates that Aharon’s immediate sons were protected from having these blemishes and it would only be the more distant children, not his SONS but his OFFSPRING who would experience them.
3) Daat Zekainim MiBaalei HaTosfot explain that the Torah is contrasting Yom Kippur with other holidays which are filled with eating and drinking. This day is holy HOWEVER it is day with afflicting ourselves through the fast.

In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

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