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Parshas Emor

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Parshas Emor
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The Alshich on Kohanim, Dead Bodies, and Chait Ha'Egel

Why when the Torah says Kohanim cannot allow themselves to become tameh from a dead body does it go out its way to call them Bnei Aharon? The Alshich explains that people die because when the snake caused Adam to eat from the Eitz Ha'Daas it imbued him with tum'ah. After Matan Torah that tum'ah was purified and we were no longer supposed to die. Chait Ha'Egel made that tum'ah return.

One would think that since Aharon was a key player in the creation of the Egel only the Kohanim become tameh from a dead body. Therefore the Torah makes a point of saying the Kohanim are even holier than all the other Jews because they are Bnei Aharon and only they are commanded not to become tam'eh from a dead body.

Nobody is immune from sin

A regular Kohen may not marry a divorcee. However, unlike a regular Kohen, a Kohen Gadol, may not even marry a widow. A Kohen Gadol must marry a woman who has never before been married. The Moshav Zekeinim Al HaTorah suggests a reason for this restriction on the Kohen Gadol. Had the Kohen Gadol been allowed to marry a widow, we would have been afraid of the following scenario: Perhaps the Kohen would have his eyes on a married woman, who he really wanted to marry. When he went into the Kodesh Hakodashim on Yom Kippur to utter the Shem haMeforash -- which has supernatural powers capable even of killing people [Rashi Shmos 2:14]), he might have in mind the husband of the woman who he wants to marry -- and thereby cause his death. To avoid this potentially life-threatening situation, the Torah commands the Kohen Gadol to only a marry a woman who was never previously married. We see from this Tosfos, that nobody, even the Kohen Gadol, is immune from sin.

Hebrew Letters and The Construction of a Sukkah

The Chida perceived the Hebrew letters "Sukkah" (Samach, Kaf, Hey) to allude to the laws of the construction of a Sukkah.

Samach - Scrupulos people build a Sukkah with walls on all 4 sides , like the completely enclosed Samach.

Kaf - Some construct only 3 walls,like the letter Kaf, which is also permissible.

Hey - It is also permissible to construct 2 attached walls and a 3rd partial unattached wall like the letter Hey.

Leave it!

The Passuk states concerning the mitzvah of Peah and Leket, "LeAni ViLager TAZOIV Oisom"- "For the poor and the stranger you shall LEAVE them" Rashi comments on the words "you shall leave" - you shall leave it for them to gather, but you should not aid any one of them. Rashi tells the owner of the field that he should not hand the produce to the poor man. Rather, he must allow him to take it by himself. The Meforshim explain, that by this means, the needy individual will escape the humiliation of being handed charity. Instead, he will feel that he is just taking what is his due by Torah law.

Hashem's Yom Tov

The Passuk says, "Ayleh Moadai Hashem Asher Tikroo Oisom Mikroay Kodesh, Ayleh Haym Moadoi". Sforno explains, if you designate the Yomem Tovem as " Mikroay Kodesh" - "Callings of holiness", by dedicating the festival for spiritual matters like Torah and Kedushah, then "Ayleh Haym Moadoi" - these are "my" Festivals. But if the Festivals are used only for physical pleasures, then they are considered "your" festivals; and I do not want to have any part of it.

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