- Emor sources -- revamped, with over 100 meforshim on the parasha and haftara.
- The tipecha on tisperu -- analyzing a suggestion that the trup indicates a division which corresponds to the halacha of counting 49 days rather than 50. I believe that it does not pan out.
- The difference between karet and ibud, and if there is such a difference, just because different pesukim utilize different terminology.
- Shaving, as specifically for a meis? In part one, a possible peshat meaning; in part two, evidence from Yeshaya and Herodotus; in part three, evidence from Iyov and Yirmeyah.
- Emor sources -- links by aliyah and perek to an online Mikraos Gedolos, and links to many meforshim on the parshah and haftarah.
- Emor veAmarta -- is the duplication just normal Biblical style, or does it convey some special meaning?
- Where is the kohen's wife mentioned? Explicitly, implicitly, or not at all? And what is to be done for the married sister?
- The day after the Shabbat: what is it? First, why I think there is a compelling argument for the Rabbinic view, that it is the day after the first day of Yom Tov of Pesach. Second, why if we disagree with the rabbinic view, I would sooner adopt an explanation of it after the "week" of Pesach over the Karaite view. Third, the Karaite view, from Aharon ben Yosef, and my reaction to it. Fourth, Rav Shamshon ben Refael Hirsch's defense of the rabbinic position, based also on Rambam. Fifth, Shadal, and with him Ibn Ezra and Kuzari, that the Karaites are correct but that Saturday is just an example, but that it could be any day of Chazal's choosing. Still more planned, but we will see if I get to it.... Yes. Sixth, some concluding thoughts.
- Mum's the word -- grappling with the exclusion of maimed sacrifices and kohanim from the Temple service.
- LeNefesh lo yitamma beAmav, but which am and whose am? The class of deceased, or of potential actors? Rashi, Shadal, and my own suggestion. I assume in this post that it means the am of kohanim. This year (2009), I intend to offer a different suggestion.
- Covering one's sukkah with the arba minim, which might be based in part on a pasuk in parshat Emor. Part i, part ii, part iii, part iv.
- The Blasphemer Left -- But From Where?
- It states vayetzei - but from where? Rashi: From the world. But which world? Of religiosity, from this world, from Olam haBa?
Rabbi Levi says the same thing in Toledot about Esav. And refers to Golaith as well.
Siftei Chachamim has a brilliant suggestion based on semichut, where olam is the immediately preceding word in our parsha. Of course, this is not the case elsewhere.
An alternative, cited by Rashi: He went out, deriving from the contents of the previous parsha; or that he left the courtroom of Moshe, having lost his case. And some pointers as to what other textual cues spark this interpretation about a court case.
Ibn Ezra says he left his tent. Perhaps he is reading emotion into this, based on his choice of prooftexts (Datan and Aviram), or perhaps not.
Tg Yonatan explains that he left Egypt together with the Israelites, an explanation with great homiletic promise.
Ramban associates it with the target location, betoch benei Yisrael.
A discussion about what others do with betoch benei Yisrael. And a relation to the conversion of the blasphemer, or perhaps his father.
Then, my own take on all of this, and the role of vayetzei.
- No Punishment for Cursing/And Excusing the Woman Who Vows?
- Cross-listed with Matot. A creative midrashic endeavor without the bounds of narrative and halachic derash.
- Haftarat Emor: Yechezkel the Torah Scholar, Yechezkel the Prophet
- Rather than harmonizing apparently contradictory laws between Torah and Yechezkel about who a kohen may marry, I point out what pesukim in Torah Yechezkel is apparently interpreting differently from Chazal. And argue that Yechezkel may do so as a Torah scholar, and not as a prophet. And Elu veElu. And hilchesa kebatrai, so we rely on Chazal's understandings of the same.
- An "Eye" for an Eye: The Concept of Proportional Punishment
- A discussion of "an eye for an eye" as it appears in parshat Emor. Chazal say it means monetary payment. I agree as a matter of peshat, not just derash. I examine the psukim in context, which is a contrast between the death penalty for one who murders a man, as opposed to monetary payment when one kills an animal. This contrast is repeated, framing the verses stating "an eye for an eye." One does not pay wergild for deliberately murdering a man, nor does one lose his life for killing an animal. We do see such payment in parshat Mishpatim if one's animal kills a man, and we see in the same chapter that there is monetary payment for injuring one's fellow (as opposed to being injured oneself). I made another analysis, coming to the same conclusion, for the "eye for an eye" mentioned in parshat Mishpatim.
- The Blasphemer
- A contrast between the Midrash which states that the Egyptian killed by Moshe in Egypt for striking the Hebrew was the father of the blasphemer, and that he had just slept with Shlomit, and the Midrash which states that when Moshe looked to and fro and saw there was no man, he saw into the future that there would be no descendant who would be part of the Jewish people. An obvious harmonization is that the reason Moshe looked for descendants was not that the merit of such descendants would save the Egyptian, who deserved what he got, but that by killing the Egyptian, he would be preventing said descendants from coming into being. This parallels the bloodguilt Kayin had not only for Hevel but for all of Hevel's descendants. Even had the blasphemer been an upright guy, he had already been conceived. I consider this idea and others in more detail on a post on parshat Shemot.
- Is Blasphemy A Crime Even In America?
- I note the case of a Hindu man suing a company for blaspheming Ganesh.