1. Leviticus: Emor

a few details….emor means “speak”.  This portion explains the obligations of the priests (who they can marry, what dead people they can be in contact with, somehow these two items don’t seem to go together to me).  And we get a rundown of all of the holidays (passover, yom kippur, sukkot).  There is no mention of hanukkah or 8 days of presents.  Duh.  Then we hear about how a blasphemer should be killed.  Lovely.  A blasphemer is someone who speaks God’s name as a curse apparently.  And anyone who hears him has to put their hand on his head then the blasphemer must be stoned by the communitiy.  Kinda strict, dontcha think?  But then, I guess when you are trying to create a new community and set up some rules and guidelines, maybe it’s appropriate to go a little over the top.  Otherwise, just like children, the newly formed community will push the limits.  It seems to be human nature.

So I read a commentary on this parsha and it struck a chord:

In Leviticus 22:32 we read: “You shall not profane My holy name, that I may be sanctified in the midst of the Israelite people—I Adonai who sanctify you.”

 Translation issues become important here. The text says v’nikdashti, “and I will be made holy” amidst the Children of Israel. Or, in other words, “You will make Me holy just as I, Adonai, have made you holy.” 

 This is what I wrote on the notcards I created for my 50th birthday:  “Each friend represents a world in us.  A world possibly not born until they arrive.  And it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”  by Anais Nin

So it is up to each of us to create this meeting and experience this relationship, this world.  We have a choice to have a relationship with God based on whether or not we make the leap to meet God, or whatever our version of God is.  Once the meeting is made, the world exists for us to then either inhabit or not.

This, to me, is much better than being told who or what God is.  Because honestly, you don’t know.  And neither did Moses know my God.  Nor do I know yours.  And I guess this is why Jews don’t really seem to define God….something that I think many people of other faiths do not understand.  God is not given, God is chosen.  By us.  Or not.

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