Today’s Aliyah

Dvar Torah for Emor 1st Aliyah

G-d conveys to Moshe the laws that govern the Kohanim, including the prohibition against making bald patches on their heads or shaving the edge of their beards (21:5). Recanati points out the contrast between the Leviim’s (Levites’) requirement to shave their heads and the Kohanim’s requirement to grow their hair. How do the Kohanim and Leviim’s requirements to grow and shave hair represent their respective roles?

Recanati explains that the Leviim become pure just by avoiding contamination. In contrast, the Kohanim have to impart holiness, an effort not confined to one’s physical body but extends outward, which is metaphorically represented by hair growing. The Kohanim have the duty of uplifting their surroundings, a role worth mirroring. Whether we are extroverts (as the Kohanim’s role might represent) or introverts (Leviim), there is a role for each of us in bettering the world around us.