Emor (Speak) Leviticus 21:1-24:23

Torah PortionEmor (Speak) Leviticus 21:1-24:23

Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 44:15-31

Our Torah portion today is Emor. When we read it, I would expect our initial feeling might be that theses verses have little to do with us in today’s world. However, I want to take a few minutes to see if that is an accurate way to interpret these words. I would like to do this by looking specifically at a few verses.

Emor (Say) Lev 21-24

Torah Portion: Emor, Say,Vayikra Lev. 21:1-24:23

HafTorah: Ezekiel 44:15-31

This week we read first about the commandments to the priests, the high priests and their service in the Mishkan or Temple. We see again that they were held to a higher level of holiness than the average person. This should cause us again to think of ourselves as priests. As the New Testament says in I Peter 1:16, “Be holy for I am holy.” This brings me to my last question I sent out this week. In the verses 22:32 the Torah tells us to not profane the name of G-d, but He should be sanctified in our midst. In the L-rd’s prayer in Matt. 6:9 we read , “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.” What does this phrase hallowed be Your Name mean to us and what do we have to do with it?

Emor (Say) Leviticus 21:1

Weekly Torah Section: Emore (Say) Leviticus 21:1-24:23, Haftorah: Ezekiel 44:15-31

In both the Torah and Haftorah portions we read about the priests and their duties and qualifications. In the Haftorah, Ezekiel 44:15-31 we read the words of Ezekiel. Who was he? When were these verses written and where was he when he wrote this? Ezekiel was a priest from the temple in Jerusalem so he knew intimately what the priestly duties were. He wrote these verses in Babylon by the river Chebar in 585 BCE.

In Ezekiel 44:15 it says that the sons of Zadok (In Hebrew Zadok means righteous) will stand before the L-rd and offer the offerings while the other priests will do the more menial tasks. Why were they singled out? They were the only priests that kept the commandments concerning the sanctuary and offerings to G-d. Again, they stayed close to G-d and they stayed holy while the rest of Israel had strayed away from G-d. Even the other priests had not remained faithful. This reminds us of the New Testament verses where it says in the last days many of the elect will fall away. If we as the elect know our priestly duties and our role as Christians we will not be deceived in the last days.  It also goes back to how important it is to stay clean in the midst of a crooked world. What was the sons of Zadok’s inheritance? In Ezekiel 44:28 it says the L-rd was their inheritance. May this be our inheritance as well.

All these verses in Ezekiel take place in the Messianic age when the Torah will go forth from Jerusalem.