Dvar Torah Parshat Emor 5776 2016

The Portion of Emor instructs the Kohanim as to how they are to conduct themselves. They are told when they may become defiled by coming in contact with the dead and when they may not. They are told whom they may marry and who not. Among all the laws pertaining to these holy persons we read a very strange statement. The Torah says: קְדֹשִׁים יִהְיוּ לֵאלקֵיהֶם וְלֹא יְחַלְּלוּ שֵׁם אֱלֹקיהֶם, “They should be holy to their G-d and they should not desecrate the name of their G-d.” (Lev. 21,6)

This is strange because the Torah is talking to the Kohanim, and they are supposedly the holiest among all the Jewish people, and they are told not to defile the name of G-d. Who would think that the Kohanim, who have been designated to the high spiritual status would fall down in their responsibilities and become defiled?

In fact the Torah is speaking specifically to them because they are so holy. They are admonished to be extremely conscious and careful not to do anything that would offend the name of the Almighty.

The moral lesson is that the more important a person is in the eyes of others, the more carefully he is obligated to act. People look at important people and consciously or subconsciously tend to imitate their manner of action. Hence for them it is extremely significant that all their actions should be blameless.

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