Emor – You Are Good and Devout

By Shalom Olensky


This week in the Torah:

G-d commands the Kohanim (Jewish priesthood) to keep themselves and their young ones pure. But, when Moses transmits this message he also engages the Israelite Court of Law to ensure the compliance of the Kohanim to these rules.

The Rebbe asks:

Why does G-d Almighty find it sufficient to alert just the Kohanim, while Moses feels a need to also engage the assistance of the Isralite Court to watch over them?

The Rebbe answers:

G-d sees the Kohanim as being intrinsically punctilious in their observance. Moses and the sages, however, must take precautions to ensure their observance, just in case this intrinsic devotion remains limited to their service in the Temple etc. and does not always reach into every part of their daily lives.

The lesson:

Every Jew is intrinsically good and devout. It’s just that it’s possible for this element in him to fall asleep, or at least be overcast. Therefore, if a Jew goes astray, all he really needs is just a reminder, a wake-up call, and he will realize his intrinsic good and behave thusly.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 37, Emor)

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