Meir Tzvi Berman

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Parshas Emor

U'Min HaMikdash Lo Yetzei"

"And he (the High Priest) shall not go out from the sanctuary"

A Cohen (Priest) who is an Onen (one in the initial stage of mourning) may not perform the Temple service. However the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) may do so.

One whose had just lost a close relative would hardly be expected to be in a frame of mind to concentrate on the services. Indeed, this is a reason why an ordinary Cohen may not serve during this period. However, as our spiritual leader, the Cohen Gadol is expected to be on a higher plane so that he can concentrate upon the service even when he is an Onen.


VaYaasu B'nei Yisroel Ka'asher Tziva Hashem Ess Moshe "And the Children of Israel did just as Hashem (G-d) commanded Moshe (and they executed the blasphemer)"

The Jewish people were faced with a spiritual peril. Performing an act of cruelty, even when required to do so, can inculcate a tendency toward cruelty. This is because an individual's character is influenced by the actions he does, even if they are out of character for him. The Torah thus tells us that in this case the Jews acted "just as Hashem commanded Moshe." This means that all their intentions and all the minutiae of the execution were in accordance with Hashem's will. No foreign thoughts or emotions pervaded their minds at all.

(R'Y.Y.Tronk of Kutna - Itturei Torah)

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