Yesterday’s parasha included the most famous one in Leviticus — Kedoshim as well as Acharei Mot. This week we study Emor: “The parashah provides purity rules for priests (כֹּהֲנִים, Kohanim), recounts the holy days, provides for lights and bread in the sanctuary, and tells the story of a blasphemer and his punishment. The parashah constitutes Leviticus 21:1–24:23.”
* When I was high school and college in the 1980s, LA was regarded a glamorous place filled with beautiful white women. Is it still regarded that way? In the 1980s, I longed to move to LA, but it wasn’t because I longed to be surrounded by Mexicans.
* Nature has color-coded people and plants and animals for evolutionary reasons.
* Phil Rushton told Greg Johnson that if he wanted to know who was behind non-white immigration and why, to read chapter seven of Kevin MacDonald’s book Culture of Critique. Rushton expected to get a Nobel prize for his book Race, Evolution and Behavior: A Life History Perspective.
* What if it all means something? In Orthodox Judaism, your every choice, every deed, every word has significance. If you have visited Israel, you know a place where living is intense. If your life drifts along and you have no meaning and purpose, then seek help. One possible path to meaning is to read the Bible.
* “Counting of the Omer (Hebrew: ספירת העומר, Sefirat HaOmer, sometimes abbreviated as Sefira or the Omer) is an important verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot as stated in the Hebrew Bible: Leviticus 23:15–16.” (Wikipedia)
* Lag B’Omer begins Saturday night, May 13. “The origins of Lag BaOmer as a minor festival are unclear. The date is mentioned explicitly for the first time in the 13th century by the Talmudist Meiri in his gloss to Yevamot 62b. The Talmudic passage states that during the time of Rabbi Akiva, 24,000 of his students died from a divinely-sent plague during the counting of the Omer. The Talmud goes on to say that this was because they did not show proper respect to one another. Meiri named Lag BaOmer as the day when, “according to a tradition of the geonim”, the “plague” ended.”
“While the Counting of the Omer is a semi-mourning period, all restrictions of mourning are lifted on this 33rd day of the Omer. As a result, weddings, parties, listening to music, and haircuts are commonly scheduled to coincide with this day among Ashkenazi Jews. Families go on picnics and outings. Children go out to the fields with their teachers with bows and rubber-tipped arrows.”
“The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, encouraged Lag BaOmer parades to be held in Jewish communities around the world as a demonstration of Jewish unity and pride.” (Wikipedia)
* The Torah is not a suicide document. So when it says to love your neighbor as yourself, it means your Jewish neighbor. You are not expected to love your goyisha neighbor who hates you. The Torah lays out a tripartite division: humanity, Israel and priests. As the priests are to Israel, Israel is to be to the world. Even resident aliens must follow the holiness code or else God will leave and He won’t bless the land with fertility and security. (Jacob Milgrom)
* “The magnified risk of priests who work inside the sacred sphere is best illustrated by the tragedy of Nadab and Abihu (10:1-3). The x-ray physician is far more at risk than is the patient. Thus those who work directly at the heart of danger must implement heightened precautions.” (Milgrom)
* For the ancient aryans of Northern Europe, their main battle to survive was against the elements, not against other groups. So when they ran into strangers, they tended to trust them because strangers could help you survive a harsh environment. This trusting trait was evolutionarily adaptive for that particular time and place but it is now maladaptive. Jews, by contrast, come from the Middle East. They’ve always been highly ethnocentric because their main battles were with other groups for resources, not against the environment. Jews are evolutionarily adapted to group competition.
* The Torah is not libertarian. The whole camp must stay holy, and by extension, the land of Israel, else the land will vomit out the people Israel, just like it vomited out its previous inhabitants.
* The Torah is concerned with sanctifying space and time. The holier the place and the person, the more restrictions.
* The Torah is not esoteric. There is no hidden knowledge that only the priests or privileged classes know. The Torah is for everyone. By contrast, we discuss Nazism & occultism. Ariosophy refers to the wisdom of the Aryans. Wise proverbs from Africa. I have a friend who’s obsessed with Caitlin Jenner and trannies and it is ruining his mind.
* Lev. 20:24: “I am the Lord your God who set you apart from other peoples. So you shall set apart the pure quadrupeds from the impure…”
* Jacob Milgrom: “Israel’s attainment of holiness depends on setting itself apart from the nations and from prohibited foods.”
* Sex and food prohibitions are linked. Ex. 34:15-16: “You must not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for they will lust after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and invite you, and you will eat of their sacrifices. And when you take wives from among their daughters for your sons, their daughters will lust after their gods and will cause your sons to lust after their gods.”
* In Herman Wouk’s novel, Marjorie Morningstar, the “Jewish heroine finally succumbs to her seducer when she tastes pork for the first time. It is no accident that the author is a learned and observant Jew who understands that a breach in the dietary system may endanger one’s entire religious structure.”
* One of Christianity’s first acts was to abolish the dietary laws to abolish the distinctions between Jew and gentile.
* A crippled cohen can’t serve as a priest.
* “Israel was obsessed with fear of contamination of the dead…to wean Israel from the worship of the dead.” (Milgrom)
* “In Israel, there is no stigma attached to a raped or seduced single girl (Deet. 22:28-29) if she is the daughter of a layman. But a stigma may well exist if she is the daughter of a priest… Consider the case of a husband who finds that his bride is not a virgin; for her deception, she is put to death. However, a priest’s daughter who is neither married nor betrothed, but just promiscuous, is burned by fire. Finally, in view of the high degree of purity demanded of a priest’s bride in Second Temple times, it is plausible that in the biblical period rape disqualified a woman from marrying a priest.” (Milgrom)
* A Cohen can’t marry a divorcee or a convert.
* According to Plato, a prospective priest “must be screened to see to it that he is sound of body and of legitimate birth, reared in a family whose moral standards could hardly be higher.”
* “The list of blemishes for priests (21:17-23) was compiled match that for sacrificial animals.”
* “The impeccable appearance and behavior of the ordinary priest…is Israel’s responsibility.”
* For a rabbi, how many plooks until you’re out? How much illegitimate sex do you get before you are no longer a rabbi? It seems like Seventh-Day Adventist clergy have higher moral standards than many rabbis because the church is hierarchical while Judaism is congregational. If a rabbi owns his shul, who’s going to kick him out of it?
* “Holiness enters our life as a “still small voice” and will utterly transform every aspect of who we are and how we perceive and relate to the world around us, if only we allow that still small voice to to emerge and fill our reality.”
* Last show.