Dvar Torah Parshat Emor 5773 2013

וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי, “You shall not desecrate My holy Name…”. (Lev.22,32) This is the caution that Hashem presents to Bnei Israel. Very few people would think that they profane Hashem’s Name. Yet there are times when we act in a way that we may think it is not an immoral manner and yet, unbeknownst to us, we have actually desecrated His Name.

The Talmud asks, “What constitutes profanation of the Name? Rav said, ‘if for example I take meat from the butcher and don’t pay him at once.’ R. Yochanan said, ‘In my case, if I walk four cubits without uttering the words of Torah or wearing Tefillin.’ ” (Yoma 86a)

We see from this that we must be ever mindful of how people see us and what effect our actions have on others. We may think we have not done wrong but our actions have sent a message, of which we were unaware, to others. We have truly profaned Hashem’s Name without realizing it. Whenever we do something we must consider how others perceive it.

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