Parshat Emor: Consecrating God in who we are

The sanctity demanded by the Creator from the children of Israel includes their priests as well, and this portion of the Torah refers to the service the latter perform in the Sanctuary or Temple. The separation of roles regarding the priests does not imply that there are different categories of sanctity among all the children of Israel. However, this sanctity is emphasized for the priests because they represent the full awareness of our permanent connection with the Creator and His Love, from which we all are created and sustained.


By its nature, this awareness is sacred because our attachment to God’s Love depends on it: “They shall be holy to their God, and they shall not desecrate their God’s Name, for they offer up the fire offerings of the Lord, the food offering of their God, so they shall be holy.” (Leviticus 21:6). We have said in previous commentaries that through our offerings, which are our best thoughts, feelings and deeds, we sanctify ourselves and consequently our relationship with God. This higher consciousness, the awareness represented by the priest, we must consecrate all the time: “You shall sanctify him [the high priest], for he brings the offering of the bread of your God; he shall be holy to you, for I the Lord who sanctifies you, am holy.” (21:8), and the bread of God is His Love.

This sublime awareness is kindled by the knowledge the Creator gives us to elevate all levels and dimensions of consciousness up to His Service, which we accomplish through Love’s ways and attributes. God sustains His entire Creation with His Love, and we also must nurture our lives and the material world where we dwell with Love as our true Essence and identity, as the material manifestation of God’s Love that is. That is our service in the world to honor His Love for us: “(…) for the crown of his God’s anointing oil is upon him. I am the Lord.” (21:12).

Again the Creator reaffirms His ways and means for us to follow and emulate when He tells us “I am the Lord”. In this statement He tells us, “Do as I say because I am telling you”. This also means that all we do in our lives must be aimed to sanctify Him: “You shall not desecrate My Holy Name. I shall be sanctified amid the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, who took you out of the land of Egypt, to be a God to you. I am the Lord.” (22:32-33).

We mentioned in a verse above that the Creator anoints (enlightens our higher consciousness with the knowledge of Him) the priest with His oil, and in the last chapter of this portion He expands this enlightenment for all Israel to also kindle the Menorah of the Sanctuary: “Command the children of Israel, and they shall take to you pure olive oil, crushed for lighting, to kindle the lamps continually.” (24:1).

This also means that the potential goodness and loving kindness of all levels of consciousness (the children of Israel) are commanded by the Creator to provide and bring the oil, the enlightenment for the high priest. In other words, the motivation to experience and enjoy our permanent connection with Him must come from the goodness and loving kindness that we infuse in our intellect, mind, thoughts, emotions, feelings, speech and actions. All the dimensions and qualities of our consciousness are summoned for this purpose.

This higher consciousness has the purpose of guiding and directing, as it is reiterated: “And to My people shall they [the priests] teach the difference between holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the impure and the pure.” (Ezekiel 44:23). The practical way to do it is by following Love’s ways and attributes as the means to sanctify our consciousness and our surroundings.

It’s important to underscore that the consciousness that Israel represents is multidimensional, and encompasses qualities, traits, aspects, and attributes that are destined to fully reveal the Divine Presence in the material world. The revelation of God to Israel at Sinai serve a dual purpose. One is for the children of Israel to assume their true Essence and identity from then on, and the other is for them to reveal the Divine Presence in the world from then on.

Once Israel experienced the Creator and His ways and attributes at Sinai, our destiny is to proclaim on Earth His kingdom and His glory, which are manifest in Love’s attributes which must be the sole rulers of human consciousness. This awareness teaches us to unify all dimensions of consciousness in the service of God’s Love, and this service means to manifest Love’s ways and attributes as the means to remove the unclean and impure in order to make prevail Love as our true Essence and identity. In this sense all the children of Israel are united under the permanent awareness of our connection with the Creator, and this awareness makes us priests.

This is the context in which we understand God’s Commandment, “and you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6), and this identity makes us different from the other nations. The Torah is the instruction with which our Jewish identity teaches “the nations” that represent traits and qualities submitted to ego’s fantasies and illusions.

The Torah teaches the entire humankind the difference between ego’s illusions and Love as truth, and this is how we enlighten consciousness to dissipate darkness in all its dimensions. We realize and practice these teachings under the guidance of our connection with God’s Love as the source of all that is. In this realization and experience we are priests because we sanctify all we are, have and do, with the sanctity of Love in the awareness that we are permanently connected with our true Essence and identity, which is God’s Love.

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
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