Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

RabbiHorowitz.com
Please Use Our New Website
still under constructions
to purchase safety books and educational materials
https://thebrightbeginnings.com

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
iPod
touch
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.


Privileged - Parshas Emor 5768
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Not Rated Yet   |   Viewed 3556 times since 5/6/08   |   0 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend
   

5/6/08

“Vayomer Hashem el Moshe emor el hakohanim” (Vayikrah 21:1)

Parshas Emor lists some of the halochos (laws) pertaining to kohanim. One of the many halochos that are specific to a kohen is the fact that he needs to avoid becoming tamei (ritually impure) throughout his life.

This requires constant vigilance on the part of each kohen. In addition to the general difficulty of seeing to it that one does not become tamei, it becomes more challenging to a kohen whose close friend or relative r’ldies. As the Torah relates in the opening pesukim of this week’s parsha, a kohen is never permitted to enter a home where there is a deceased person or to go into a Beis Hakvaros (cemetery) – except for the funeral of an immediate relative. Even in such an instance, this is a one-time exemption, and the kohen could not visit the cemetery on the yahrtzeit or at any other time.

Kohanim have other halachos that are exclusive to them as well. A male kohen is not permitted to marry a divorcee, and, when the Bais Hamikdosh was standing, he needed to be very careful to avoid any form of tumah (ritual impurity) at all – since he would be eating Teruma and Kodoshim.

All in all, the Torah presents a listing of halachos that restrict and limit the activities of the kohanim – due to their elevated status as those who reside in the immediate presence to Hashem’s Shechinah (Divine Presence)

AN INTERESTING QUESTION

Rav Moshe Feinstein z’tl in his sefer Darash Moshe asks an interesting question.

Why does the Torah begin this parsha with the word Vayomer as opposed to Vayedabeir? Both words represent forms of speech. Generally speaking, however, the word vayomer represents a softer form of speech, and vayedaber represents a more firm verbal communication. Throughout the Torah, Reb Moshe points out, the term "Vayedabeir Hashem el Moshe" is used when halachic laws are being delivered. In this instance, Reb Moshe maintains, vayedabeir should surely be used – since Hashem is informing Moshe about halochos that are exceedingly difficult to keep.

Reb Moshe explains that the Kohanim were the teachers of Torah to Klal Yisroel, as it says, "Yoru mishpatecha l’Yakov – They (kohanim) should teach the halachos to Klal Yisroel" <[i>Devorim 33:10].

A SACRED RESPONSIBILITY – AND PRIVILEGE

In order for anyone to properly transmit our mesorah, one needs to feel that the mitzvos and halachos are a privilege, not a restriction.

Hashem used the word “Vayomer" in this instance to teach us this important message. We, as the chosen people of Hashem have the privilege to observe the mitzvos of our Creator. We need to approach them with an overriding feeling of happiness, and not to view them as a voluminous listing of restrictions. In order to effectively transmit that feeling, the halachos pertaining to kohanim begin with the language of vayomer – a word that conveys simcha.

Rav Moshe points out that not only kohanim and leveyim were the teachers of Torah. According to the Rambam (Hilchos Shmitah v'Yovel 13:13), he explains, anyone can take on the role of a teacher of Torah. Additionally, we teach Torah not only when learning it with others, but perhaps more importantly, by living elevated lives according to its mandates, and interacting with others with a sense of Darchei Noam.

Our great rebbi, Rav Avrohom Pam z’tl would often tell us during our teenage years, that we all need to prepare ourselves for the sacred mission of becoming teachers of Torah. He shared with us that regardless of our professions later in life, we would need to become teachers of Torah – when Moshiach will come, bimeherah beyameinu (may he come speedily, in our times). At that time, he said, Klal Yisroel will need countless rebbeim to teach Torah to our brothers and sisters who did not have the privilege to study its halachos and lessons during their formative years.

This week’s parsha teaches us how to do this – by doing the mitzvos with a sense of privilege and simcha. May we all be zoche to learn, live, and i’yh teach Torah – b’simcha u’vetuv levav.

Best wishes for a Gutten Shabbos.

© 2008 Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, all rights reserved



To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.


Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:       Not Rated Yet
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at admin@RabbiHorowitz.com and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.



Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593
email: email@kosherjewishparenting.com


Advertisements