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Table Talk Series II: Emor Print E-mail

ShabbatCounting To Fifty: In this week’s portion we are commanded to count fifty days from the bringing of the Omer on the second day of Pesach, and seven weeks. In next week’s portion we are commanded to count the seven years of the Sh’mittah cycle, and seven sets of the seven years to reach the fiftieth year, Yovel, or the Jubille year. The first 50th day of the Omer Counting was at Sinai, which was remarkable for the sound of the Shofar blowing. The Yovel officially takes effect on Yom Kippur with the blast of the Shofar. The Torah was first given on Shavuot, and the Second Two Tablets were presented on Yom Kippur. Can you find other connections between these two Mitzvot? What can we learn from their commonalities?

An Eye For An Eye

Although the Sages have taught us that we do not take these laws literally, but insist on financial restitution, we must wonder why the Torah chose to present these laws in such a manner. Do you think that this may be related to the question of whether we are interested in punishing the sinner or helping the victim?

The Prison Sentence

The Cohen Gadol had a special office in the Beit Hamikdash, the Lishkat Cohen Gadol, from which he would leave only to perform the service, or at night to go to his home, which had to be in Jerusalem. He was permitted to gome home for an hour or two during the day. (See Rambam, Hilchot Klei Hamikdash 5:6) Did this not restrict his connections with the people of the nation? Did he experience this as a prison? How could he survive for so many years leaving with such restricted movement? Why was it so important for him to live like this?
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