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Emor

English Translation

Emor

Speak
Leviticus
21:1−24:23

Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary (CCAR Press)

English translation of the Torah portion Emor in the Book of Leviticus21:1] The Eternal One said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them:

None shall defile himself for any [dead] person among his kin, 2] except for the relatives that are closest to him: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother; 3] also for a virgin sister, close to him because she has not married, for her he may defile himself. 4] But he shall not defile himself as a kinsman by marriage, and so profane himself.

5] They shall not shave smooth any part of their heads, or cut the side-growth of their beards, or make gashes in their flesh. 6] They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the Eternal’s offerings by fire, the food of their God, and so must be holy.

7] They shall not marry a woman defiled by harlotry, nor shall they marry one divorced from her husband. For they are holy to their God 8] and you must treat them as holy, since they offer the food of your God; they shall be holy to you, for I the Eternal who sanctify you am holy.

9] When the daughter of a priest defiles herself through harlotry, it is her father whom she defiles; she shall be put to the fire.

10] The priest who is exalted above his fellows, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been ordained to wear the vestments, shall not bare his head or rend his vestments. 11] He shall not go in where there is any dead body; he shall not defile himself even for his father or mother. 12] He shall not go outside the sanctuary and profane the sanctuary of his God, for upon him is the distinction of the anointing oil of his God, Mine the Eternal’s. 13] He may marry only a woman who is a virgin. 14] A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is degraded by harlotry—such he may not marry. Only a virgin of his own kin may he take to wife— 15] that he may not profane his offspring among his kin, for I the Eternal have sanctified him.

16] The Eternal One spoke further to Moses: 17] Speak to Aaron and say: No man of your offspring throughout the ages who has a defect shall be qualified to offer the food of his God. 18] No one at all who has a defect shall be qualified: no man who is blind, or lame, or has a limb too short or too long; 19] no man who has a broken leg or a broken arm; 20] or who is a hunchback, or a dwarf, or who has a growth in his eye, or who has a boil-scar, or scurvy, or crushed testes. 21] No man among the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a defect shall be qualified to offer the Eternal’s offering by fire; having a defect, he shall not be qualified to offer the food of his God. 22] He may eat of the food of his God, of the most holy as well as of the holy; 23] but he shall not enter behind the curtain or come near the altar, for he has a defect. He shall not profane these places sacred to Me, for I the Eternal have sanctified them.

24] Thus Moses spoke to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.

22:1] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 2] Instruct Aaron and his sons to be scrupulous about the sacred donations that the Israelite people consecrate to Me, lest they profane My holy name, Mine the Eternal’s. 3] Say to them:

Throughout the ages, if any man among your offspring, while in a state of impurity, partakes of any sacred donation that the Israelite people may consecrate to the Eternal, that person shall be cut off from before Me: I am the Eternal. 4] No man of Aaron’s offspring who has an eruption or a discharge shall eat of the sacred donations until he is pure. If one touches anything made impure by a corpse, or if a man has an emission of semen, 5] or if a man touches any swarming thing by which he is made impure or any human being by whom he is made impure—whatever his impurity— 6] the person who touches such shall be impure until evening and shall not eat of the sacred donations unless he has washed his body in water. 7] As soon as the sun sets, he shall be pure; and afterward he may eat of the sacred donations, for they are his food. 8] He shall not eat anything that died or was torn by beasts, thereby becoming impure: I am the Eternal. 9] They shall keep My charge, lest they incur guilt thereby and die for it, having committed profanation: I the Eternal consecrate them.

10] No lay person shall eat of the sacred donations. No bound or hired laborer of a priest shall eat of the sacred donations; 11] but a person who is a priest’s property by purchase may eat of them; and those that are born into his household may eat of his food. 12] If a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she may not eat of the sacred gifts; 13] but if the priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced and without offspring, and is back in her father’s house as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food. No lay person may eat of it: 14] but if a person eats of a sacred donation unwittingly, the priest shall be paid for the sacred donation, adding one-fifth of its value. 15] But [the priests] must not allow the Israelites to profane the sacred donations that they set aside for the Eternal, 16] or to incur guilt requiring a penalty payment, by eating such sacred donations: for it is I the Eternal who make them sacred.

17] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 18] Speak to Aaron and his sons, and to all the Israelite people, and say to them:

When any person of the house of Israel or of the strangers in Israel presents a burnt offering as the offering for any of the votive or any of the freewill offerings that they offer to the Eternal, 19] it must, to be acceptable in your favor, be a male without blemish, from cattle or sheep or goats. 20] You shall not offer any that has a defect, for it will not be accepted in your favor.

21] And when a person offers, from the herd or the flock, a sacrifice of well-being to the Eternal for an explicit vow or as a freewill offering, it must, to be acceptable, be without blemish; there must be no defect in it. 22] Anything blind, or injured, or maimed, or with a wen, boil-scar, or scurvy—such you shall not offer to the Eternal; you shall not put any of them on the altar as offerings by fire to the Eternal. 23] You may, however, present as a freewill offering an ox or a sheep with a limb extended or contracted; but it will not be accepted for a vow. 24] You shall not offer to the Eternal anything [with its testes] bruised or crushed or torn or cut. You shall have no such practices in your own land, 25] nor shall you accept such [animals] from a foreigner for offering as food for your God, for they are mutilated, they have a defect; they shall not be accepted in your favor.

26] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 27] When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall stay seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable as an offering by fire to the Eternal. 28] However, no animal from the herd or from the flock shall be slaughtered on the same day with its young.

29] When you sacrifice a thanksgiving offering to the Eternal, sacrifice it so that it may be acceptable in your favor. 30] It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall not leave any of it until morning: I am the Eternal.

31] You shall faithfully observe My commandments: I am the Eternal. 32] You shall not profane My holy name, that I may be sanctified in the midst of the Israelite people—I the Eternal who sanctify you, 33] I who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God, I the Eternal.

23:1] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 2] Speak to the Israelite people and say to them:

These are My fixed times, the fixed times of the Eternal, which you shall proclaim as sacred occasions.

3] On six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a sabbath of complete rest, a sacred occasion. You shall do no work; it shall be a sabbath of the Eternal throughout your settlements.

4] These are the set times of the Eternal, the sacred occasions, which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time: 5] In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Eternal, 6] and on the fifteenth day of that month the Eternal’s Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread for seven days. 7] On the first day you shall celebrate a sacred occasion: you shall not work at your occupations. 8] Seven days you shall make offerings by fire to the Eternal. The seventh day shall be a sacred occasion: you shall not work at your occupations.

9] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 10] Speak to the Israelite people and say to them:

When you enter the land that I am giving to you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest. 11] He shall elevate the sheaf before the Eternal for acceptance in your behalf; the priest shall elevate it on the day after the sabbath. 12] On the day that you elevate the sheaf, you shall offer as a burnt offering to the Eternal a lamb of the first year without blemish. 13] The meal offering with it shall be two-tenths of a measure of choice flour with oil mixed in, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Eternal; and the libation with it shall be of wine, a quarter of a hin. 14] Until that very day, until you have brought the offering of your God, you shall eat no bread or parched grain or fresh ears; it is a law for all time throughout the ages in all your settlements.

15] And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering—the day after the sabbath—you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: 16] you must count until the day after the seventh week—fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to the Eternal. 17] You shall bring from your settlements two loaves of bread as an elevation offering; each shall be made of two-tenths of a measure of choice flour, baked after leavening, as first fruits to the Eternal. 18] With the bread you shall present, as burnt offerings to the Eternal, seven yearling lambs without blemish, one bull of the herd, and two rams, with their meal offerings and libations, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Eternal. 19] You shall also offer one he-goat as a purgation offering and two yearling lambs as a sacrifice of well-being. 20] The priest shall elevate these—the two lambs—together with the bread of first fruits as an elevation offering before the Eternal; they shall be holy to the Eternal, for the priest. 21] On that same day you shall hold a celebration; it shall be a sacred occasion for you; you shall not work at your occupations. This is a law for all time in all your settlements, throughout the ages.

22] And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I the Eternal am your God.

23] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 24] Speak to the Israelite people thus: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts. 25] You shall not work at your occupations; and you shall bring an offering by fire to the Eternal.

26] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 27] Mark, the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a sacred occasion for you: you shall practice self-denial, and you shall bring an offering by fire to the Eternal; 28] you shall do no work throughout that day. For it is a Day of Atonement, on which expiation is made on your behalf before the Eternal your God. 29] Indeed, any person who does not practice self-denial throughout that day shall be cut off from kin; 30] and whoever does any work throughout that day, I will cause that person to perish from among the people. 31] Do no work whatever; it is a law for all time, throughout the ages in all your settlements. 32] It shall be a sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall practice self-denial; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall observe this your sabbath.

33] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 34] Say to the Israelite people:

On the fifteenth day of this seventh month there shall be the Feast of Booths to the Eternal, [to last] seven days. 35] The first day shall be a sacred occasion: you shall not work at your occupations; 36] seven days you shall bring offerings by fire to the Eternal. On the eighth day you shall observe a sacred occasion and bring an offering by fire to the Eternal; it is a solemn gathering: you shall not work at your occupations.

37] Those are the set times of the Eternal that you shall celebrate as sacred occasions, bringing offerings by fire to the Eternal—burnt offerings, meal offerings, sacrifices, and libations, on each day what is proper to it— 38] apart from the sabbaths of the Eternal, and apart from your gifts and from all your votive offerings and from all your freewill offerings that you give to the Eternal.

39] Mark, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the yield of your land, you shall observe the festival of the Eternal [to last] seven days: a complete rest on the first day, and a complete rest on the eighth day. 40] On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Eternal your God seven days. 41] You shall observe it as a festival of the Eternal for seven days in the year; you shall observe it in the seventh month as a law for all time, throughout the ages. 42] You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, 43] in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I the Eternal your God.

44] So Moses declared to the Israelites the set times of the Eternal.

24:1] The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying:

2] Command the Israelite people to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, for kindling lamps regularly. 3] Aaron shall set them up in the Tent of Meeting outside the curtain of the Pact [to burn] from evening to morning before the Eternal regularly; it is a law for all time throughout the ages. 4] He shall set up the lamps on the pure lampstand before the Eternal [to burn] regularly.

5] You shall take choice flour and bake of it twelve loaves, two-tenths of a measure for each loaf. 6] Place them on the pure table before the Eternal in two rows, six to a row. 7] With each row you shall place pure frankincense, which is to be a token offering for the bread, as an offering by fire to the Eternal. 8] He shall arrange them before the Eternal regularly every sabbath day—it is a commitment for all time on the part of the Israelites. 9] They shall belong to Aaron and his sons, who shall eat them in the sacred precinct; for they are his as most holy things from the Eternal’s offerings by fire, a due for all time.

10] There came out among the Israelites a man whose mother was Israelite and whose father was Egyptian. And a fight broke out in the camp between that half-Israelite and a certain Israelite man. 11] The son of the Israelite woman pronounced the Name in blasphemy, and he was brought to Moses—now his mother’s name was Shelomith daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan— 12] and he was placed in custody, until the decision of the Eternal should be made clear to them.

13] And the Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: 14] Take the blasphemer outside the camp; and let all who were within hearing lay their hands upon his head, and let the community leadership stone him.

15] And to the Israelite people speak thus: Anyone who blasphemes God shall bear the guilt; 16] and one who also pronounces the name Eternal shall be put to death. The community leadership shall stone that person; stranger or citizen—having thus pronounced the Name—shall be put to death.

17] If anyone kills any human being, that person shall be put to death. 18] One who kills a beast shall make restitution for it: life for life. 19] If anyone maims another [person]: what was done shall be done in return— 20] fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The injury inflicted on a human being shall be inflicted in return. 21] One who kills a beast shall make restitution for it; but one who kills a human being shall be put to death. 22] You shall have one standard for stranger and citizen alike: for I the Eternal am your God.

23] Moses spoke thus to the Israelites. And they took the blasphemer outside the camp and pelted him with stones. The Israelites did as the Eternal had commanded Moses.

Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary, copyright (c) 2016 by CCAR Press. All rights reserved. Translation of Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy from NJPS © 1962, 1985, 1999; CJPS © 2006. Used and adapted by CCAR Press with permission from The Jewish Publication Society and the University of Nebraska Press. No part of this translation may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, distributed, or be transmitted without express written permission from the Central Conference of American Rabbis. For permission, please contact CCAR Press.