Parashat Emor 5775 (On Blasphemy and the Image of God)

Devar Torah given at Kehilat Hadar

This week’s parashah ends with a sin:

וַיִּקֹּב בֶּן-הָאִשָּׁה הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִית אֶת-הַשֵּׁם וַיְקַלֵּל.

The son of the Israelite woman pronounced the Name [of God] and cursed. (Lev. 24:10-23)

Maybe we don’t need to overthink why a law code seen as given by God would determine that cursing God is not ok, but how severe a crime is this? Evidently, Moses was uncertain, as the culprit was detained while Moses checked in with God. Because, perhaps, the negative consequence of this act seems unclear. After all, what harm can possibly come to God through human words? Continue reading