Parashat Emor Leviticus 21:1 -24:23
Haftarah Emor Ezekiel 44:15 – 31
From various sectors of society the Call is perceived that “The End of the World” may be close. World crises are nothing new, and even before this Corona Plague hit this Call was observed but for totally different reasons. For certain, there was not a commentator in the World who even just weeks ago would have predicted that the entire Global economy would come to a sudden abrupt halt, international travel abandoned and families across the Globe ‘locked down’ in their homes!
We have now entered the era of speculation about the future – how this all will be resolved. While these projections vary between:
- an overwhelming sector founded on fear based rumour mongering about dictatorial World Government control, to
- religious Bible based expectations of awesome and/or exciting Prophetically predicted Times ‘of the End’ (mostly a negative misnomer for an otherwise positive, exciting New Era), to
- varying predictions of doom and resultant entirely ‘New’ dispensations which will overturn most of the hitherto World structuring.
The communal factor to all these configurations is: ‘CHANGE’ – which will certainly occur.
All we can do at this premature time is to scan for developing Signs of such Change. Of course, the various commentators would attempt to fit it into their expectations. Only Time will tell the Real Outcome.
So, allow us (of the KOL HATOR Prophetic Vision), to fit these observations of CHANGE into our expectations – which are based on the “G-d Perspective”. IF indeed G-d is True and if the Bible is True, then such a CHANGE must of necessity fit into the Divine Plan for Humanity. The problem is that this Plan is truly beyond man’s best expectations and perceptions. This In itself demands CHANGE – so we have to be adaptable, open to alternatives (risky as this may be), willing to CHANGE in order to conform.
One of the salient affects of Corona has been the rising re-awakening awareness amongst humans on the social and humane levels. Paradoxically, this is completely juxtaposed to the “physically distancing” between persons, even on the closer association level. While our safety calls for physical distancing, our survival drive motivates closer heart to heart and social connecting – even uniting on a humane level. Symptoms of this closer association can even be observed on international relationships. And it may become more evident once the disastrous financial implications set in in the aftermath of the Lock Down. This alone should be a great factor for rejoicing. And, for us, it is in line with the Creator’s Plan for Humanity – especially at this Time of closing in on the Final Redemption or End Time (‘Starting Time’) scenarios. Significantly, this comes at the looming close of the 6th Millennium, preceding the 7th or Sabbatical Millennium which will see the establishment of the Universal Kingdom of the Creator. We are currently in the year 5780 according to the Jewish calendar –220 years towards the Shabbat Millennium.
Rabbi Alon Ahava in a current video review going viral about the Prophetic implications that he observes in Corona fall-out, presents 7 positive solutions to the Crisis. These, notwithstanding his shattering negative observations (which you will be wise to avoid brooding about). Spend your time rather on the positive – as per the inspiring videos we will link at the foot of this Blog). The 1st of thee positive re-actions in the wake of Corona he terms “To connect the Opposites TOGETHER”. We have from the outset, in our contemplations about Corona and the possible Message that HaShem is conveying to us through it, construed that Judah (Judaism) needs to wake up to the fact that we have neglected to educate the World on Torah – education which would negate the outbreak of such plagues. In this case, much as people do not like to admit the strong probability, Corona was ignited by the digesting of Chinese of all types of ‘unclean meats’. There was a reason why the Creator defined edible meats – and not just for ‘religious’ reasons. Much as Judaism today claims the ‘sole rights and needs’ for observance of these Divine Guidelines for health, for Jews only, it is paradoxical that a main thrashing outfall of this plague is that strictly Kosher observing Jews are dying even at a higher that average rate, with the other Nations. Surely, there must be a Message in all this?
Ref. our Blogs (see Menu) since beginning April 2020. We have emphasised that IF this was Closing End Times, then there needs to be Reconciliation first between the outstanding Exiles of the Lost House of Israel (10 Tribes amongst the nations), and Judah. This means “connecting the total opposites of ‘Ephraim and Judah’ which encounters the Main Theme of Prophecy – Ref. Bible Confirmations of the Restoration. So, Judah has to come to reach out to and accept their long lost family amongst the nations. And these lost 10-Tribers, now awakening to Torah across the World, need to lay of their cultured hatred of Jews, Rabbis and Torah and reach out and embrace their Jewish brothers who are in fact Divinely mandated to be their spiritual Guides in Torah. If Corona can bring this ‘Reconnection of great opposites’ in the ame ‘Family’’ about, we can rejoice in whatever the price it demands from us.
In our 3 categories of response to Corona and the future, we have mentioned the 3rd group presenting “varying predictions of doom and a resultant entirely ‘New’ dispensation which will overturn most of the hitherto World structuring.” Amongst this group we find especially the business sectors and entrepreneurs. They have to find solutions and thus can set the first 2 categories a fine example of positive response no matter how dire the situation. The world business sectors generally thrive and survive on positive presumptions and strategies. The general conclusion that this group arrives at is that the Business World of the future will be entirely different to what has been up to now. This means employment, business operations, systems – all involved. What has been ‘normal’ up to now will become abnormal. This requires CHANGE of attitudes, approach, communication in order to succeed. Now – if this can be based on better and closer human relations then we have made progress. This, after all, is what the Final Redemption which we are now approaching, entails, i.e. bringing all Nations into a Torah regulated World Order under the direct Dominion of the Creator G-d.
There is no purpose or benefit in contemplating on the negative.
Our Rabbinic Parashat commentary this week emphasizes the same Message. Parashat Emor demands from those who are now called by HaShem to become His Servant who will bring the Exiles Home, to perfect the Tabernacle Service with the special sacrificial offering of ‘connecting the opposites’ – i.e. opening their hearts to the poor – which surely includes the poor in spirit, truth no mater their identity. How much more if they are part of the Family which gone lost by loosing their Israel and Jewish identities? It is this Servant also whom HaShem is preparing to become His Light unto the nations to reach all the Nations in the World to Come under His Universal Torah Rule. Through them He will orchestrate the Final End Time Reconciliation!
By Rabbi Benayahu Bruner; Centre for Orthodox Religious Affairs in the Diaspora – www.wzo.org.il
DISCLAIMER – the authors and promoters of the articles and videos that we place here are mostly not connected in any way to KOL HATOR and may well not share our views and interpretations. We do however thank them for their insight and pointers that confirm our understanding and often broaden our insight.
“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field … you shall leave them to the poor and to the stranger”
In this week’s Sedra of Emor, we read Parashat HaMoadot – the section about the holidays. The Torah reviews all the Jewish holidays from Passover to Sukkot in detail. Such a lengthy review can only be found in this week’s Sedra and in the book of Bamidbar (Numbers) in Parashat Pinhas, which speaks of the Musaf offerings.
After the Torah teaches us about Passover and Shavuot, we read the following verse:
‘And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field when you reap, neither shall you gather any gleaning of your harvest. You shall leave them to the poor and to the stranger, I am HaShem your G-d.”
The Torah commands us not to reap the entire field, but to leave a corner of the crops, and not to gather up the ears of corn that fall during harvest, because they are intended for the poor and strangers. Why did the Torah speak of these commandments while talking about the holidays? We have already learned them in last week’s Sedra, Parashat Kedoshim! The Midrash (Torat Kohanim) asks this question, and it appears in Rashi’s commentary on the Torah:
Why did the Torah write of these in between the Regalim holidays? To teach you that whoever practices Leket [gleaning], Shikheha [forgetting], and Pe’ah [corner] and Ma’aser Ani [poor tithe] is regarded as having the Temple exist in his day and having sacrificed his offerings in it, whereas whoever does not practice these is regarded as having the Temple exist in his day and not having sacrificed his offerings in it.
These commandments appear after the list of offerings for the festival of Shavuot and that leads the Midrash to say that they are equivalent to the sacrifices. Why does the Midrash liken the commandments of gifts to the poor to making offerings in the Temple?
Nahmanides does not quote the Midrash, but answers the question it raised about why the Torah integrates these commandments into Parashat HaMoadot. He says that since the Torah is speaking of the Omer and the double portion of bread brought to the Temple from the new year’s crop, the farmer might have mistakenly thought that the Mitzvot of the crop associated with the Temple exempt him from giving gifts to the poor. Therefore the Torah emphasizes the absence of such an exemption. One might reach a similar conclusion from the Midrash – that gifts to the poor are no less important than sacrifices offered at the Temple.
Rabbi Meir Simcha Hacohen of Dvinsk, in his commentary on the Torah entitled Meshekh Chokhma links between these commandments and the festival of Shavuot, the holiday of Matan Torah – the receiving of the Torah. Some believe that the Torah is essentially about Chukim – supra-rational commandments between man and his Creator, which we were commanded to observe at Sinai; whereas commandments that are Mishpatim, or rational, do not require a Divine revelation, but are rather known intuitively. And here, the Torah stresses that Mitzvot between man and his fellow man are no less important than those between man and G-d. if one lacks faith in Hashem, one might become corrupt, wrong others and fail to perform acts of loving kindness and justice with those he lives amongst:
Know that the Torah received during the festival was not only about Chukim [supra-rational Mitzvot], but also about rational politeness, such as kindness to the poor and strangers, for in the absence of faith in Hashem, the mind of man might be as a wild animal, and he shall fail to have mercy nor respect his father… that is why Hashem said that on that holiday you shall celebrate the receiving of the Torah – not the supra-rational laws alone, but the rational ones as well. Therefore the Torah says “And when you reap the harvest of your land…” but on the other hand also that “I am Hashem your G-d”.
The Meshekh Chokhma continues to say that this commandment of giving gifts to the poor was written after the festival of Shavuot, and is immediately followed by Rosh Hashana. The Bnei Israel perform many Mitzvot during the winter, because the field requires no work. However, during the spring and summer, when there is much work in the field and they are busy earning a living, how can they then stand before Hashem on Rosh Hashana, which is Judgment Day? Maybe it would have been best to have Judgment Day on Passover, immediately after winter? And the Meshekh Ghokhma answers: on Rosh Hashana man is judged for the way he has lived his life – man is given life if he himself has given life to others. Binyamin the Righteous is said to have passed Judgment Day and been granted longevity because he gave life to a woman and her children. But was he not righteous? Yet he did more than he had to, and gave of his own charity to give life to the forsaken, and for that he earned more days in this world and lived longer than initially intended. That is why the Torah commanded us to give gifts to the poor during the summer – so that we may pass Judgment Day on Rosh Hashana. And this is what he says:
When it says (Psalms 9:9) וְהוּא יִשְׁפֹּט תֵּבֵל בְּצֶדֶק – And he shall judge the world in righteousness – it means “due to its righteousness”. That is why (ibid, ibid) יָדִין לְאֻמִּים בְּמֵישָׁרִים– he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness – and He shall add life to Israel. Therefore it says: “you shall not make clean riddance … you shall leave them to the poor and to the stranger” – whether they are worthy or not. And therefore בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה – In the seventh month a memorial of blowing of trumpets – meaning to say that is why Rosh Hashana was set to be Judgment Day on the seventh month.
Doing justice is the credit with which we enter Judgment Day on Rosh Hashana. If by making offerings in the Temple we seek intimacy with Hashem, He tells us in this week’s Sedra that by practicing social justice we are achieving such intimacy with Him and are regarded as having offered sacrifices at the Temple.
Rabbi Benayahu Bruner is a Zohar rabbi who heads the Beit Midrash of Safed’s Academic College. He is the rabbi of several communities in Safed, and formerly headed the local Yeshivat Hesder.
KOL HATOR Commentary
We have concluded in recent commentaries on the weekly Parashah how that HaShem is preparing His Servant (the reconciling members of the House of Judah and 10-Israel who are reconciling and re-uniting after 2700 years of Family enmity) to become His Light unto the Nations. They are thereby forming that Living Tabernacle thru which HaShem wishes to dwell amongst His People. This Restored Temple, as Rabbi Bruner emphasizes in this week’s Parashat Commentary, should then feature this highly important requirement to reach out to the poor, to “Connect the opposites,” as we have seen above (As also confirmed in this week’s Haftarah in Ezek. 44 – regarding ‘Restoration of the Tabernacle Service’). We have emphasized in our recent blogs the possibility that Corona will serve as a Wake Up Call to bothh Jews and the Reawakening House of 10-Israel (Ephraim) of the need to ‘reconnect their opposites’ of 2700 years).
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFO AND INSPIRATION
- For further promotions of the KOL HATOR Awakening Call for Judah to reconsider their restricting of sharing the Torah with the entire World, ref. to the Face Book Page of ‘OvadYah Avrahmi’.
- Inspirational observations about the World before Corona and the World that we are now entering after: “Hindsights 2020 – the Great Realization of COVID 19”
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