“In three places [Scripture] mentions the festivals: In Leviticus, because of their order; in Numbers, because of their sacrifices; and in Deuteronomy, because of the leap year [to assure that Passover is celebrated in the spring].” (Sifrei Devarim 127)
It is rather fascinating that the Torah instructs us about the scheduled celebrations we call holidays three different times. While we encounter these passages as the Torah readings on the holidays themselves, the first iteration appears in this week’s portion, Emor. As the midrash above teaches us, the festivals are presented in a chronological order, starting with Pesah in the biblical first month, and concluding with Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret six months later.
In our parashah, the festivals are referred to as Mo’adei Adonai, usually translated as “festivals for the LORD.” But what does the term mo’ed really mean? On Shabbat morning, when we also happen to find ourselves just two weeks away from one of those mo’adim, namely Shavu’ot, we will explore this term, and how the Jewish calendar is meant to stregthen our People’s relationship with God. We will see that the sequence really does make sense!
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,