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Parashat Emor

By: Talia Herssein (9th)

This week’s Parsha is Parshat Emor. In the Parsha, it states “Say to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and tell them: none shall defile himself to a [dead] person among his people” (21:1). The question is, why was Moshe commanded to tell Aharon’s sons this and not Aharon himself?

At the giving of the Torah, the Jews stated that “they will do and they will listen”, and so Hashem said they were worthy to live forever. However, after the sin of the golden calf took place, it had the effect of empowering the Malach Hamavet- the angel of death. This led to a new Mitzvah: the idea that Cohanim would not be able to touch a corpse. Since Aharon was involved in the sin of the golden calf, this new Mitzvah would’ve caused him a lot of shame. Therefore, Moshe was told to tell his sons rather than telling him directly to save him from personal pain.

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