12 May Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Emor 5777
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Emor, part of which is familiar from a few weeks ago when it was used as the reading for the 2nd day of Passover (it is also used as the reading for the 1st and 2nd days of Sukkot). Its choice for a reading on those days makes sense given the extensive list of festivals that we celebrate during the year. But its location is also significant. This list comes in the midst of what Biblical Scholars call “The Holiness Code” which instructs on how to be a holy people. The inclusion of the holidays and how they are observed is a clear command that part of being a holy people means making these holidays a part of our lives. By finding in this code both ritual and kindness to one another, we are reminded that being a holy person includes both, not simply one or the other.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik