Why would we institute the public haftorah reading for Emor, which includes one of the verses in Yechezkel that caused that seffer to almost be hidden away?

See Shabbos 13b with Rashi.

And while it's true that Chanania ben Chizkia expounded that pasuk to comply with the Torah, see Menachos 45a as per Rashi in Shabbos, the fact of the matter is that the simple reading of the passuk is problematic, so why institute it to be read publicly?

This is different than say Koheles which was also on the table to be hidden away, Shabbos 30b, because at least there, the reasons not to hide it were the first and the last passuk which were 'Torah'. So the explicitly written words saved the entire book. Mishley also got off the cutting board riding on the back of Koheles, ibid.

But the saving grace of Yechezkel is not explicit in the passuk. It was a drasha that certainly most listening to the haftorah would not be aware of. So although it's veracity as a holy work was proven, why go out of our way to read the verse in question publicly? We could easily have left off the last passuk.

  • 1
    To bolster this point, the vast majority of the second half of Isaiah is used as Haftarot, but the chapter used by Christianity to refer to Jesus is glaringly omitted.
    – Double AA
    Jun 5, 2019 at 21:09
  • @Double Interesting
    – user6591
    Jun 5, 2019 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


This is an interesting question. However, I do not see that this causes any issue. For one, just like there is a meturgaman for the Torah reading there is a meturgaman for the haftorah as well (Megilla (4:4)).

Another reason this should not be problematic is that we already have Rabbi Yochanan who tells us it is indeed difficult, but will be explained by Eliyahu Hanavi,and Ravina gives a reason about melika. It is now on everyone's radar sorta speak ,that when it is read we wouldn't think that a Yisrael is permitted to eat it (especially with the translators explanation).

Additionally ,it is even appropriate to mention this passuk as it is very similar to the passuk of the parsha in Emor and there are those who note the difference of emphasis on different ideas (eating vs. Touching or carrying ) :

Emor: כָּל־נְבֵלָה֙ וּטְרֵפָ֔ה מִן־הָע֖וֹף וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָ֑ה לֹ֥א יֹֽאכְל֖ הַכֹּֽהֲנִֽים:

Yechezkel: כָּל־נְבֵלָה֙ וּטְרֵפָ֔ה מִן־הָע֖וֹף וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָ֑ה לֹ֥א יֹאכְל֖וּ הַכֹּהֲנִֽים׃

On a side note, the Ibn Ezra writes very strongly about those who interpret the passuk in a certain way :

וריקי מוח יפרשו הפסוק שהוא בספר יחזקאל והוא כל נבלה וטרפה מן העוף ומן הבהמה לא יאכלו הכהנים כל מה שנבלוהו וטרפוהו עופות או בהמות וזה הבל כי הנה בתורה כתוב כל נבלה וטרפה לא יאכל והטעם שאם יאכל לא ישמש

Translation of Ibn Ezra from Seferia:

Those whose brains are empty explain the verse in Ezekiel, which reads, The priests shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself, or is torn, whether it be fowl or beast (Ezek. 44:31), as meaning that the priests shall not eat anything brought down or torn by animals or fowl.16 However, this is nonsense, for the Torah states all that dies of itself or is torn he17 shall not eat.18 The meaning19 is if he eats20 he shall not minister.21

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