Emor - Say
Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:1 - 24:23
Mark R. Ensign, Adot Adonai, Amarillo, Texas
Introductory questions -- Brief answers, not for extended discussion:
1. At what point in history does this parsha unfold?
2. Where does this parsha take place geographically? What are the setting and environment?
3. Who are the primary actors in the parsha and what role or roles does each play? What is the significance of each role? Who are the secondary actors and what roles do they play? What is the significance of their roles?
4. What is the overall theme of this parsha? What are the subdivisions, if any?
Parsha Specific Questions -- for extended discussion:
Aharon and his sons as the kohanim were not to contaminate themselves by coming in contact with a dead person. What were the exceptions? What signs of mourning were prohibited to the kohanim? Why? Who were the kohanim prohibited from marrying? Why were the kohanim to remain holy?
What dead person was the Kohen HaGadol allowed to come near? What two signs of mourning could the Kohen HaGadol not display? Where was he to remain during the funeral of a relative? What two qualifications were required of his wife? Why?
What was the general rule that disqualified a son of Aharon from serving as a kohen? Why? What benefit of the kohanim could he share in? What two things was he expressly prohibited from doing? Why?
What was the general rule regarding a kohen who was tamei (contaminated/unclean) coming into contact with the offerings to YHVH? What was the punishment for violating this rule? What was the food of the kohanim and what were they prohibited from eating? Why? What persons were prohibited from eating of the holy things and what persons were allowed to do so? What was one to do who inadvertently ate of the holy things?
Consider what Rav Sha'ul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:23-32 about Y'shua's last supper. Describe the parallels between the holy food of the kohanim, Y'shua, believers in him and their ability to partake of the holy food of YHVH when qualified according to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. What parallels do you see to the Kiddush - eating challah and drinking the fruit of the vine each week?
What were the characteristics of the animals brought as an olah (elevation/burnt) offering? What were the characteristics of the animals brought as a shlamim (peace) offering? What was the minimum age for an animal to be acceptable as an offering to YHVH? What parallels do you find between these offerings and their characteristics and Y'shua HaMashiach as described by 1 Kefa (Peter) 1:18-21?
What two things did YHVH say were to be done with his instructions? What two-part instruction did he give regarding his holy name? Who does he declare himself to be? How does this relate to the purpose of Bnei Yisrael and its existence? What do the Sages teach is the primary privilege and responsibility of every Yisraelite and how is that accomplished? What did Y'shua teach in Mattityahu 5:13-20 regarding the purpose of Bnei Yisrael and those who would believe in him? How long did he say that the Torah, the loving instructions of our Father, would last?
What was the first of the moadim (appointed times/seasons) of YHVH listed in this parsha? What two ways of observance were ordained and what prohibition? What is the second of the moadim listed here and when was it to be celebrated? What festival followed immediately thereafter and for how long? What was done on the first day and the seventh day and what was prohibited?
What was to be brought from the first harvest and to whom? What did he do with it? What other offerings were brought at this time? How long a period transpired between this observance and the next of the moadim? What was it called and why? What offerings were to be brought to the kohanim and what did they do with them? What else did the people do on this day and what were they prohibited from doing. For how long was this to be celebrated? What prohibition did YHVH place upon the harvest of the land and why?
What was the next of the moadim to be celebrated? When? In what two ways? With what prohibition? With what offering?
What was the next of the moadim to be celebrated? When? In what 3 ways? With what prohibition? For what purpose? With what consequence for violation? For how long was this to be celebrated?
What was the final moadim to be celebrated? When and for how long a period? What were the people to do and not do on the first day and the eight day? What offering was brought to YHVH? What four species were used to rejoice before YHVH at Sukkot? For how long a period was this instruction to apply? What was its purpose?
What was used to kindle the menorah and who was responsible for doing so? What special food item was offered to YHVH, where and with what additional ingredient? How often was it changed? To whom did it belong and what did they do with it?
In what two ways did the young Yisraelite offend the name of YHVH? What did YHVH instruct Moshe to do to him? What further instruction did YHVH give Bnei Yisrael through Moshe? What did Y'shua say about one who blasphemes against the Ruach HaKodesh? What statements did Y'shua make (as recorded in Yochanan) that were self pronouncements of his divinity? Why were the Judeans outraged and wanted to stone him? From these episodes, what is the general rule of Judaism regarding HaShem (literally, the name) YHVH? What was done to the blasphemer?
What punishment was to be imposed upon one who struck and killed another human? What punishment was imposed upon one who struck and killed an animal? What was required of one who inflicted a wound on his fellow? Is this to be understood literally or as requiring restitution? What categories of persons were covered by these instructions?
Closing Questions: For Personal Introspection
Why do you believe our loving Father provided us with this particular portion of his words? What was his purpose and objective in preserving this portion of the Scriptures to this day? What benefit do they have for Torah observant believers today?
What other insights has the Ruach HaKodesh given you in your study of this portion that you would like to share with the group?
What questions from this portion have you had that have not been answered by the study?
What impact do you think the study of the words from your Father in this po