Say to the kohanim, the sons of Aaron, say to them: For the death of someone among his people he shall not become ritually impure; only for the blood-relations closest to him… (Leviticus/Vayikra 21:1-2)
kohanim (כֹּהֲנִים) = priests. (Singular: kohein, כֹּהֵן)
Thus this week’s Torah portion, Emor (“Say”), opens with instructions from God to the priests on avoiding ritual impurity as much as possible in their personal lives, including who they mourn for and who they marry. The haftarah (the weekly reading from the prophets) comes from the book of Ezekiel, and also warns that a priest must not marry a divorced women, enter a house where there is a corpse, or engage in mourning practices for anyone except his immediate blood relatives.
The details of the two warnings differ, but the general themes are the same, and support the idea…
View original post 1,078 more words