Celebrating in Jerusalem

Sponsored by Midreshet Devora www.midreshetdevora.org

in Honor of

Josh Halickman's 37th Birthday!

Celebrating in Jerusalem by Emily Kozlow, a student at Midreshet Devora

In Parshat Emor, we read about various laws pertaining to the Kohanim. We continue, and find mention of the appointed festivals, אלה מועדי השם מקראי קדש אשר תקראו אתם במועדם (Vayikra 23:4). This seems like an odd placement, it seems that the festivalsí acknowledgement might appear in Shemot, where the events upon which they are based, occurred. What is the meaning of this juxtaposition of concepts?

Before the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, Kohanim served Hashem by operating the Beit Hamikdash, and teaching Torah. Only in a state of purity or taharah, could Kohanim fulfill this role, as they always directly served Hashem, always stood right before Hashem.

The privilege to stand before Hashem was not reserved only for Kohanim. However, on the Shalosh Regalim (pilgrimage festivals) Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, all of Am Yisrael came to the Beit Hamikdash as commanded by Hashem.

Though we can no longer come to the Beit Hamikdash for the Shalosh Regalim, we still step away from our everyday lives to come closer to Hashem.

This year, I was blessed to spend Pesach in Yerushalayim. While I ordinarily find myself eagerly anticipating the sederís end, this Pesach, I appreciated each moment. Celebrating in Eretz Yisrael intensifies so greatly the remembrance of Yetziat Mitzrayim (the Exodus from Egypt ) and the feeling of Hashemís presence.

Last week, I participated in a tour of Yerushalayim with Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum. On the trip, we had the opportunity to get very close to where the Kohanim entered Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount ) and see a breathtaking view of where the Beit Hamikdash stood.

May we all celebrate this Shavuot standing before Hashem in Yerushalayim!

Shabbat Shalom,

Emily Kozlow

Emily is a graduate from Beth Tfiloh High School in Baltimore , Maryland . She now studies at Midreshet Devora in Yerushalayim.


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