Emor 5766-2006

"Striving for Perfection"

The theme of perfection repeats itself frequently in parashat Emor. Not only do the Priests and the sacrifices need to be physically unblemished, even the thoughts of the donors and the Priests must be clean and pure as well. The theme of striving for perfection is a constant and repetitive theme in Jewish life, toward which each Jew is encouraged to strive.

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Shemot 5766-2006

"And G-d Built Them Houses"

According to tradition, the midwives who refused to follow Pharaoh's orders and kill the male Hebrew children, were Yocheved and Miriam, mother and sister of Moses and Aaron. The commentaries suggest that when Scripture notes that G-d rewards them by building them "houses" it refers not to real houses, but rather to the dynasties of the Priesthood and Levites and the monarchy of King David. It is NJOP's hope that many NJOP students who never knew that they were Priests and Levites will return to their Priestly and Levitic functions, and that in the time of Messiah, the Al-mighty will see fit to choose one of those students, a descendant of the tribe of Judah, to lead His people to full redemption.

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Tzav 5764-2004

"Making the Menial Hallowed and Mundane Holy "

Examining the priestly service, we find something rather perplexing: the holy Cohanim who are engaged in honorable rites with much pomp and circumstance, begin the holy service with a decidedly menial duty each morning. The first service of the day involves removing and transferring the day-old waste of yesterday's ashes. This act not only serves to keep a priest's ego in check, it also teaches a valuable lesson about how truly important the "small stuff" really is.

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Naso 5762-2002

"The Challenge of the Priestly Blessings"

The issue of whether human beings can encourage G-d to bless them, or if human beings can actually bless G-d, is not easily resolved. One thing we know for sure is that mortals certainly need G-d's blessings.

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