Today’s Aliyah

Dvar Torah for Emor 2nd Aliyah

G-d tells Moshe to relay to Aharon that any Kohen with a defect or imperfection may not represent others in service to Him (21:17–23). Why would a bodily deformity disqualify a Kohen from priestly duties?

Rabbi Ezra Wiener suggests that a blemished Kohen may find it challenging to represent those who have not suffered any sort of blemish, and the donor may have trouble connecting with his Kohen representative. To avoid mismatches in representation, G-d makes sure that we avoid the situation altogether. We can use this as an opportunity to increase our empathy for people with physical disabilities and the physical, psychological, and emotional distress they are likely to be experiencing.