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Emor - Complete Submission to Hashem

In this shiur, the final shiur of the year in Sharfmans, Rav Burg explores (based on a sicha from the Lubavitcher Rebbe) why the Eved Canaani is able to eat from the Terumah of the Kohen as opposed to the Eved Ivri and how this Halacha relates to our lives. When we are in complete submission to Hashem we are allowed to eat from the fruits of this world and it informs the way we relate to the world around us.

Sources quoted below.


Emor - Total Submission to Hashem

Leviticus 22:10-11

(10) No lay person shall eat of the sacred donations. No bound or hired laborer of a priest shall eat of the sacred donations; (11) but a person who is a priest’s property by purchase may eat of them; and those that are born into his household may eat of his food.

ויקרא כ״ב:י׳-י״א

(י) וְכׇל־זָ֖ר לֹא־יֹ֣אכַל קֹ֑דֶשׁ תּוֹשַׁ֥ב כֹּהֵ֛ן וְשָׂכִ֖יר לֹא־יֹ֥אכַל קֹֽדֶשׁ׃ (יא) וְכֹהֵ֗ן כִּֽי־יִקְנֶ֥ה נֶ֙פֶשׁ֙ קִנְיַ֣ן כַּסְפּ֔וֹ ה֖וּא יֹ֣אכַל בּ֑וֹ וִילִ֣יד בֵּית֔וֹ הֵ֖ם יֹאכְל֥וּ בְלַחְמֽוֹ׃

Rashi on Leviticus 22:11:1

(1) וכהן כי יקנה נפש BUT IF THE PRIEST BUY ANY SOUL… [HE MAY EAT OF IT] — This refers to a Canaanitish servant who has been acquired even in respect to his body (not only as regards his work).

רש"י על ויקרא כ״ב:י״א:א׳

(א) וכהן כי יקנה נפש. עֶבֶד כְּנַעֲנִי שֶׁקָּנוּי לְגוּפוֹ:


1. Only an Eved Canaani may eat of the Kohen's Terumah and not an Eved Ivri. What's the difference? 

2. What is the inner message of this Halacha to us in our times?

Berakhot 35a:18-21

 Sages taught in a Tosefta: One is forbidden to derive benefit from this world, which is the property of God, without reciting a blessing beforehand. And anyone who derives benefit from this world without a blessing, it is as if he is guilty of misuse of a consecrated object... Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: One who derives benefit from this world without a blessing, it is as if he enjoyed objects consecrated to the heavens...

ברכות ל״ה א:י״ח-כ״א

אָסוּר לוֹ לָאָדָם שֶׁיֵּהָנֶה מִן הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה. וְכׇל הַנֶּהֱנֶה מִן הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה מָעַל... אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל: כׇּל הַנֶּהֱנֶה מִן הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה כְּאִילּוּ נֶהֱנָה מִקׇּדְשֵׁי שָׁמַיִם...


It does not say that someone who does not make a Bracha has "stolen" the food from Hashem, it says he has violated the prohibition of Meilah (misappropriated consecrated resources for personal use). 

If the Gemara had said that eating without a Bracha was stealing, then the purpose of a Bracha would be to get permission.

Now that the Gemara has said that it is a violation of Meilah we must ask, what is the purpose of a Bracha?!? If food is consecrated to Hashem, then it cannot be used for personal use even if you have permission!

Answer of the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l:

A Bracha does not change the food, it remains מִקׇּדְשֵׁי שָׁמַיִם. The Bracha changes the one who is blessing! When we say אלוקינו מלך העולם we recognize not just that the food belongs to Him but that we belong to Him! In this way, as servants of Hashem, like the servant of the Kohen, we may partake in His food.

Rabbi Elimelech, the Rabbi of Lizhensk, was widely recognized as a righteous, holy Jew and an accomplished scholar.

Once a young Torah scholar visited Rabbi Elimelech.

“Rabbi Elimelech,” began the visitor, “we are both scholars, well-versed in Jewish law. Yet you have far surpassed me in your level of saintliness. What do you possess that I lack?”

Rabbi Elimelech pointed to the bowl of fruit displayed before them on the table. “When you want to eat an apple, do you make a blessing to G‑d?”

“I certainly do!” the visiting rabbi answered.

“Ah – that’s the difference! You see, when you want to eat an apple, you make a blessing. When I want to make a blessing, I eat an apple.”

Eved Canaani - is bought or acquired by conquest. He and his wife and children and belongings are the property of the master forever.

Eved Ivri - if a Jew stole from his neighbor, but was not able to repay his victim, he can be sold as an Eved Ivri and use the proceeds to pay the victim. One can also sell himself as an Eved Ivri in order to make ends meet. He goes free after a maximum of six years or if he chooses to remain an Eved Ivri he goes free with Yovel.


Kabbalah: These two forms of slavery represent two ways of serving Hashem:

Eved Canaani - (lower level) Total submission to Hashem (Kabbalas Ol Malchus Shomayim)

Eved Ivri - (higher level) Submission to Hashem with love and awe.

Original Questions:

1. Only an Eved Canaani may eat of the Kohen's Terumah and not an Eved Ivri. What's the difference?

2. What is the inner message of this Halacha to us in our times?


Final Answer:

The Eved Canaani is in a state of complete submission to his master (in contrast to the Eved Ivri who goes free) and therefore as a complete servant he can partake of the Terumah of his master the Kohen. 

The Eved Canaani form of serving Hashem may not involve love and awe of Hashem but in a certain sense it is higher because there is a submission to Hashem even when we are not feeling the love and the awe. In this state we express our complete servitude to Hashem. As the complete servant, totally nullified before Hashem, we use Hashem's world in the way that He wants us to use this world.

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