Sharing Torah Insights

Some Thoughts from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch on Parshas Emor

Posted on ט״ז באייר ה׳תש״ע (April 30, 2010) | in Emor | by

Dibur and Emor differ as “speaking” and “informing.” Speaking is the expression of thought in words, without any consideration of its being accepted by the hearer, but informing is always “telling somebody.” One can speak to oneself, but not inform. Dibur is the concise expression of a thought, Emor is addressing the same to the mind and feeling of another person, the complete explanation and development of a thought into genuine understanding.

Hence in the speech of the Torah, Dibur is always the concise, pregnant expression of the Law, as given in the Written Torah, but Emor is the full explanation of it in the Oral Torah. The Torah is written with two types of fire. Black fire makes up the letters, but its teachings are confined to them. White fire is the space between the letters, which has no such limitation.

True understanding of Torah require more than words on a page, it requires conversation, interaction, creative expression of something more intimate than letters can convey.

God spoke the Law in Ten Statements – “Asseres HaDibros,” but He created the world in Ten Utterances “Assarah Ma’amaros.”


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