Reuben Ebrahimoff




The Haftorah for Parshat Emor

The Laws that Apply to the Kohanim in the 3rd Bait Hamikdash ~ Holy Temple

The Haftorah is read from the Book of Yechezkel (Ezekiel), 44:15-31

Ezekiel’s floor plan from his prophetic vision of the 3rd & Final Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple) – Ezekiel Ch. 40-48

The connection of the Haftorah to the Parsha: This week’s Parsha discusses the laws of the Kohanim in the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, while the Jews were traveling for 40 years in the Sinai desert. Similarly, the Haftorah discusses the laws and tasks of the Kohanim who will serve in the Third and final Beit Hamikdash, Holy Temple.

The Tabernacle, image from the Temple Institute, Jerusalem

Image from the Temple Institute

The storyline of this week's Haftorah: This week's Haftorah begins with the laws that will apply to the Kohanim in the Third Bait Hamikdash. In the next and final Holy Temple only the Kohanim that are the descendants of the Tzadok family will perform the sacrificial service. Why? Because they were the only Kohanim, Priestly family, that didn't stray from Hashem and his laws.  Ezekiel’s 1st new rule for the Kohanim: In the future Bait Hamikdash the Kohanim's clothing - their turbans, jackets and pants - will be made from pure linen.  After performing the services in the temple, the Kohanim will have to remove the holy ceremonial clothing and change into “street clothes”. These are the laws that pertain to the Kohanim. 1) They must not shave their heads or let their hair grow too long. They must wear their hair trimmed. It is said in the Gemarah that the Kohen Gadol would get his hair cut everyday by a very skilled barber that could cut every hair on the Kohen’s head the EXACT same length. 2) The Kohanim must not drink wine when they enter the inner court of the Temple. Ezekiel’s NEW Rule #2: A Kohen must not marry a divorcee or widow. 3) A Kohen must teach people the difference between holy and sacrilegious. 4) A Kohen must inform people of the difference between something that is spiritually clean and unclean. 5) They will act as Judges to resolve disputes. 6) The Kohanim must keep all the laws of the Torah, especially Shabbat. Ezekiel’s New Rule#3: A Kohen must not come close to a dead person, unless it is their mother, father, son, daughter or an unmarried brother, sister or wife 7) The Kohanim will receive gifts in the time of the third Temple. The Kohanim will not have a portion of the Land of Israel set aside for them. Instead they will get gifts in the form of food from the sacrifices given in the Temple. 8) The Kohanim are forbidden to eat from animals that are not kosher.

Winged Bull protecting the Kings Temple in Babylonia

“The Prophet Yechezkel” by Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel

Yechezkel ben Buzi’s Biography:

  • The meaning of his name is “Hashem will strengthen.”
  • Was a Kohen, born in the village of Anatot surrounding Jerusalem. His wife died suddenly before his prophecies began.
  • He prophesied just before the destruction of Jerusalem on Tishah Be’av (The 9th of Av). He was exiled in 597 B.C.E. Some of his visions were while he was in exile. He was a major prophet that recorded the warnings to the Jewish captives of Babylon.  He was among 8000 exiles taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon soldiers.
  • He died in Bavel.
  • He saw the divine vision of the Ma’aseh Hamerkavah (Hashem’s Throne).
  • He was the only person in the Tanach (Bible) to be called "Ben Adam”, Son of Man.
  • Yechezkel wrote his own 48 chapter book; his prophetic ministry lasted 20 years.
  • Was one of three prophets granted the key to resurrection of the dead. (The others were Eliyahu and Elisha)

Famous Phrases: Ezekiel 42:20, “L’havdil bain hakodesh l’chol”  “to distinguish between the holy and the secular” This is the theme of the Havdalah prayer recited on Motzei Shabbat. 

Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: In this week’s Haftorah, Hashem already reveals the future to us. It is up to us to prepare ourselves.   Many times we want something to happen but "it ain't happening yet".  Rather than giving up, we should get ready. It means "Be the first one on line” that when things change and they always do, you'll be the first one in the door. (Remember the lyrics of this song- “Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, Get ready, Get ready; Get ready, because here I come.")  Prepare yourself spiritually; Hashem has already told you what to get ready for. It makes it much easier to plan for the event.

The tomb of prophet Ezekiel in Baghdad Iraq


Messianic Third Temple , Israel

Timeline: Ezekiel prophesied about 2430 years ago in the Jewish years 3330-3340.


Written by: Reuben Gavriel Ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5770-2010