Emor

This list of festivals doesn’t say ‘festival’, but mikra: a naming, a reading, a call. The whole book began with vayikra, “he called’; mikra also means the Torah itself. The entire tradition, including the yearly festivals, calls to us – and yet, before and in order to fulfil these traditions, we are called upon to call out, to become callers ourselves. Those who follow the demands of the tradition meticulously are performing half of the commandment, which demands to be complemented by owning, renewing and communicating the living traditions. Mikraei kodesh, ‘holy callings’. Like anything holy, they can’t be grasped or used for human purposes. Still, just hearing the call of holiness and echoing it ourselves is to experience real freedom.

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[Inspired by: Leviticus 23Kedushat Levi, Likutim 97; R. Raz Hartman, Emor 5775; and drüber und empor by Paul Klee.]

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