Sunday, May 10, 2015

On Parshat Emor

I wrote a poem for Parshat Emor.  it was inspired by a vort in me'Am Loez that I learned many years ago. He says that we read from the words "Shor O'Kesev O'Eiz in Emor on Sukkot for a specific reason: because a shor - cow is not really a shor when it's born but it's a calf.  the word that's used reminds us that a shor by any other name is stiull a shor.  it never grows, yearns or strives or changes, like a person does.  And the point of Sukkos is that it's the start of the year, the start of our time of change and growth once again.  This is a hard idea to live, but one I like to think about and teach and work on.  i had a nice chat, after sharing this with the freshmen minyan, with a boy who's Bar mitzvah was on Sukkos.  He had one idea as to why it fits to read "Shor O'Hesev" at the start of Pesach: That just as in this leing we discuss the birth of animals, Pesach is the time of the birth of the Jewish People.  My thought, which is related, is that Pesach is about freedom and we need to be reminded to use our choices wisely and to make sure we rise higher than animals.

Emor/Shor O Chesev Poem

A very important thing to know
Is that every day we have to grow

Like Avraham - ba beyamim - he improved every day
We his descendants need to be the same way

Animals are complete when they are born
They are neither emotionally nor spiritually torn

A cow is a cow even if you call it a calf
nothing like us, not even by half

This is our purpose throughout each year
To work on our souls and to G-d to come near

So on Sukkot we're reminded that a shor is a shor
May we be blessed to ever remember that we are more


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