Parshas Emor – The Jewish Festivals

This week in the Torah:

The Torah instructs regarding the Jewish festivals in chronological order.


In his fourteen volume code of Jewish Law, one volume entitled “Times” explains the laws of the festivals, but not in a completely chronological order. Maimonides also does not include the laws of how to set the dates for the festivals until close to the end.


Why the change from chronological order to not, between the Bible and the code of Jewish law? And why not mention the laws of the holiday calendar at the beginning of “Times”?


The Bible tells facts and from that is drawn instruction. The codes of law however, are primarily directed to delineating man’s obligations. Hence a commensurate rearrangement of the order of the laws is possible.

“I have inherited Your testimonies for all time, for they are my heart’s joy.” – Psalms (119:111):

With this verse Maimonides introduces the aforementioned volume on “Times.” This indicates that the “testimonies,” the laws of the festivals, are “for all time”. This, and the fact that Maimonides calls the volume simply, “Times,” (and not “Festivals” or the like) implies that the observance of the festivals, unique days distinct from others, actually affects not only the days of the festivals, but rather all of time.

Based on this:

Therefore, Maimonides does not include the laws of setting dates for the festivals until the end. For, the festivals are meant to elevate and affect all of time itself, not just those specific dates.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. 32, Emor)

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