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Emor(Leviticus 21-24)

Emor 5770

GOOD MORNING! My beloved friend and colleague, Rabbi Ephraim Shore, scripted a beautiful, uplifting 2 minute video for Aish.com in honor of Israel's 62nd Independence Day - Happy Birthday, Israel! You can see it at www.tinyurl.com/HBIsrael . One swells with pleasure. Here are some of the accomplishments mentioned:


 

  • Israel is the 100th smallest country, and has about 1/1000th of the world's population. It is only 62 years old, 7 million people strong (less than Virginia), and smaller in size than New Jersey, surrounded by enemies, under constant threat and possessing almost no natural resources, and yet...
     
  • Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. It has absorbed 350% of its population in 60 years. Israel is the only country in history to have revived an unspoken language.
     
  • Since the founding of the state, Israel has more Nobel Prizes per capita than any other country. It has more laureates in real numbers than China, Mexico and Spain.
     
  • Israel has the 8th longest life expectancy (80.7 years), longer than the UK, US, and Germany.
     
  • Israel is the only country that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, even more remarkable - in an area that's mainly desert.
     
  • Over 90% of Israeli homes use solar energy for hot water, the highest percentage in the world.
     
  • Israel will be the first country to host a national electric car network.
     
  • Israel is ranked in the top five Cleantech countries of the world, and operates the world's largest desalinization plant. Israeli companies are producing the largest solar energy production facility in the world.
     
  • Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the work force, 63% more than the U.S. It also has the most physicians and engineers per capita.
     
  • Israel's scientific research institutions are ranked 3rd in the world. Israel is ranked 2nd in space sciences.
     
  • Israel produces the 3rd most scientific papers per capita, and the most in stem cell science.
     
  • More Israeli patents are registered in the United States than from Russia, India and China combined (combined population 2.5 billion). It leads the world in patents for medical equipment.
     
  • Israeli companies invented the drip irrigation system, discovered the world's most used drug for multiple sclerosis, designed the Pentium MMX Chip technology and the Pentium 4 and created Instant Messenger (ICQ), and Israeli cows produce more milk per cow than any other in the world!
     
  • Israel has the 3rd highest rate of entrepreneurship among women in the world.
     
  • Israel has attracted the most venture capital investment per capita in the world, 30 times more than Europe.
     
  • Israel has more NASDAQ-listed companies than any country besides the US - more than all of Europe, India, China and Japan combined.
     
  • In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute numbers, Israel has more startups than any country other than the U.S.
     
  • Israel is the only country whose indigenous population returned to its native land after 2,000 years of forced exile. There are 26 official Muslim states in the world, 18 official Christian states, but only one Jewish state.

After kvelling (gushing with delight) in these facts, it hit me that as wonderful as they all are, the Jewish people have given an even greater gift to the world - the values and principles which every nation professes and hopefully aspires - the vision of utopia that the world embraces:

1) Value of Life - People have the right to life, and to live with a certain basic dignity and rights.

2) World Peace - On all levels, communally and globally, people and nations should co-exist in peace and harmony with mutual respect.

3) Justice and Equality - All people, regardless of race, sex, or social status, have the right to be treated equally and fairly in the eyes of the law.

4) Education - Everyone has the right to be functionally literate as a basic tool for personal advancement and the ability to attain knowledge.

5) Family - A strong, stable family structure is necessary for the moral foundation of society.

6) Social Responsibility - Individually and nationally, we are responsible for each other. This includes responsibility for: disease, poverty, famine, crime and drugs, as well as environmental problems and animal rights.

If you would like to deepen your pleasure, knowledge and understanding in what the Jewish people have given to the world, you may buy a copy of WorldPerfect: The Jewish impact on Civilization by Rabbi Ken Spiro at your local Jewish bookstore, at http://www.JudaicaEnterprises.com or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242. You may also see an excerpt from the book detailing where the values and principles of the modern world came from at http://www.tinyurl.com/WorldPerfect .

For more on "Jewish Values" go to ShabbatShalomAudio.com!


 

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Torah Portion of the Week
Emor

This week's portion sets forth the standards of purity and perfection for a Cohen; specifies the physical requirements of sacrifices and what is to be done with blemished offerings; proclaims as holidays the Shabbat, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

It reminds the Jewish people to provide pure olive oil for the Menorah and designates the details of the Showbread (two stacks of 6 loaves each which were placed on the table in the portable sanctuary and later in the Temple once a week upon Shabbat).

The portion ends with the interesting story of a man who blasphemed God's name with a curse. What should be the penalty for this transgression? Curious? Leviticus. 24:14.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"And the Almighty said to Moshe, 'Speak to the priests, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: Let no (priest) defile himself amongst his people' " (Lev. 21:1).

The Chozeh of Lublin explained this verse to mean that Moshe was told that the priest should be worthy of being the descendants of Aharon (Aaron, the High Priest). Just as Aharon had the trait of loving and pursuing peace, so too, they should work on acquiring this trait. Therefore, the latter part of this verse warns them that even though they should try to make peace between people whenever they can, they must be careful not to defile themselves in the process. At times they might come into contact with very aggressive and violent people and they should not become too close to them lest they become negatively influenced by their faults.


 

LAG B'OMER


Saturday night, May 1, is Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, the period between Pesach and Shavuot. On this day the plague which was killing Rabbi Akiva's disciples stopped. It is also the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar, the Kabbalah, the book of Jewish Mysticism. Tradition has it that the day of his demise was filled with a great light of endless joy through the secret wisdom which he revealed to his students in the Zohar.

In Israel, kids light bonfires. They are symbolic both of the light of wisdom Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai brought into the world and as a "yahrzeit candle" to the memory of his passing. Haircuts and weddings (which until now were forbidden during the counting of the sephira) are permitted on Lag B'Omer.

 

 


 

CANDLE LIGHTING - April 30
(or go to http://www.aish.com/sh/c/)

Jerusalem 6:44
Guatemala 5:56 - Hong Kong 6:30 - Honolulu 6:37
J'Burg 5:20 - London 8:03 - Los Angeles 7:18
Melbourne 5:17 - Mexico City 7:40 - Miami 7:33
New York 7:32 - Singapore 6:49 - Toronto 8:00


QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

The only substitute for shouting is substance.
--  Juanita Kreps

 

 
With Deep Appreciation to

Peter Kaminsky

Hong Kong

 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Kalman Packouz

Click here for Rabbi Packouz's bio
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Copyright Rabbi Kalman Packouz 2010

Published: April 25, 2010

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