October 23, 2020 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Emor

"You shall not profane My holy name, that I may be sanctified in the midst of the Israelite people..." (Lev. 22:32). Parshah Emor has much about the obligations of the priesthood and about the ritual calendar, but this passage stands out because it makes a point that our actions have consequences beyond ourselves. A Jew who flagrantly violates the Law might encourage others to do so. Conversely, one who praises God publicly can be an influence for good. Such is the reason, as the Etz Hayyim commentary notes, for requiring a minyan for the Mourner's Kaddish and other parts of our service proclaiming God's holiness. The Talmud states that one of the greatest things for a Jew to do is to act in such a way as to cause others to praise God's ways.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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