Shabbat Emor (Leviticus 21:1–24:23)
In parsha Emor we continue with the “holiness code” that was started last week in Kiddushim. The quality of sacrifices which can be brought is specified – it should be pure and without blemish. So far so good.
Things go south when we discover that WE should be without blemish or defect also, especially when it comes to approaching the bema. People with physical deformity are not allowed to approach the mishkan. Ever. The blind, the lame, those who are too long of limb (I guess this is why there are so few Jewish basketball players), those with a broken leg or a broken arm or a scab. (A scab?!? I can just hear Jewish mother’s of old “Oy vey, Yossie! If you keep riding your bike like that you’ll NEVER become a Priest!”) This is where the trouble (and undoubtedly the discussion) begins.
Limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something which is “blemished” – overripe, formed (and/or MALformed) or defective. Conversely, you can instead choose to bring something which is perfect, pure and without blemish. The choice (and the challenge) is yours.