Sunday, April 29, 2007

Emor summary

Emor begins with laws which apply to male Cohanim. They are not permitted to come into contact with a dead body, with the exception of certain close relatives. They must not make marks on their bodies as signs of mourning. They are also forbidden from marrying a divorcee or a woman who has previously had forbidden sexual relationships. The Cohen Gadol (High Priest) is forbidden to grow his hair long or to wear ripped clothes. He may not come into contact with any dead body, even that of his parents. He may only marry a virgin.
Any Cohen who has a physical blemish may not serve in the Temple. However he may still eat from the sacrifices and all of the other laws of Cohanim apply to him. Any Cohen who is ritually impure may not enter the Temple or offer any sacrifices. Only a Cohen and his family may eat of the sacrifices which belong to the Cohanim, or eat terumah (tithe from crops). If the daughter of a Cohen marries a non-Cohen she may no longer eat terumah.
A blemished animal may not be sacrificed. It may be given, however, as a gift to the Temple. No animal may be sacrificed before it is eight days old. We may not slaughter a female animal and its child on the same day. A Thanksgiving sacrifice must be eaten on the same day that it is sacrificed.
G-d told Moshe the laws of the festivals. On Shabbat we may not do any melacha (creative activity). Pesach (Passover) is on the 14th of Nissan. We must eat matza for seven days. On the second day of Pesach we bring the Omer offering of barley. We then begin counting seven weeks. On the fiftieth day, Shavuot, a wheat offering is brought from the new grain. Rosh HaShana is on the first day of the seventh month and the shofar is sounded. The 10th of that month is Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Succot is on the 15th of the month, and it lasts for seven days. During the festival of Succoth we must take an esrog, lulav, myrtle and willow. We must also dwell in Succot for seven days.
G-d tells Moshe about the Menorah. Every evening Aharon shall light it so that it shall burn from evening until morning. Twelve loaves of bread are set upon the Shulchan (table) in the Temple and are replaced every Shabbat.
A certain man began to quarrel and blasphemed G-d's name. The people brought him to Moshe and kept him under custody until the penalty could be specified by G-d. G-d instructs that a blasphemer must be taken outside the camp and stoned to death. Similarly a murderer must be put to death. If one kills an animal he must make monetary compensation. If someone injures his neighbour he must pay compensation.

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