Shabbat Parashat Emor| 5767
Emor | | 01/01/2006
The Torah presents the following warning for the kohanim in our parasha: “Speak to Aharon and to his sons, and they should stay away from the holy of Bnei Yisrael, and they should not desecrate My Holy Name that they sanctify to Me, I am Hashem” (Vayikra 22:2). It is difficult to understand this commandment. The kohanim are appointed to deal with the sacred, so how are they to stay away from it?
Case: The renter found the landlord’s sukka folded up in his yard upon beginning residence. He used the sukka with permission and then returned it to the yard. Upon inspecting the home after the end of the lease period, the landlord discovered that the sukka was missing and wants the renter to pay because he did not put it in a protected place.
Two institutions are charged with upholding the rule of law in Israel [ed. note- referring to the Torah approach]: beit din and the institution of kingdom. Beit din’s authority is not only to uphold existing Torah laws but even to legislate at the appropriate time and place. Much of this power is subsumed under the rule of hefker beit din hefker (beit din can expropriate one’s property), which enables beit din to make a variety of monetary innovations to adjust Torah laws.
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).