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Two-Line Torah: Emor 5777--Choosing time

This week’s parasha enumerates the dates and observances of the main Jewish festivals and Shabbat. Reading these instructions, the rabbis notice something peculiar: while the Torah refers to Shabbat as mo’adai, “my chosen times”, it refers to the rest of the festivals as mo’adam, “their chosen time” (Lev 23:2, 4). The rabbis conclude this is because our ancestors needed to choose when to observe the holidays based on their own calculations. By contrast, God sanctified Shabbat at the beginning of time for all time.

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