Friday, April 18, 2014

Parshat Kedoshim- "You Shall Be Holy"


Leviticus: (19:1-20:27)

Parsha Kedoshim begins with a very important message:

קדשים תהיו כי קדוש אני ה אלהיכם

You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God, am holy (19:2).

Rashi explains that this statement was made during an assembly convened to highlight the importance of the matter, as it says-

דבר אל כל עדת בני ישראל

Speak to the entire congregation of the children of Israel

The Parsha proceeds with a series of laws, both moral and religious, among them repetitions of the ten commandment in slightly different wording.

For example:

איש אמו ואביב תיראו

 man shall fear his mother and his father(19:3).

And אל תפנו אל האללים

..Do not turn to the idols(19:4).

לא תגנבו

You shall not steal (19:11).

But perhaps the most important message in this Parsha is:

ואהבת לרעך כמוך אני ה

You shall love your fellow as yourself, I am G-d(19 :18).

Because when a person loves his fellow as he loves himself, he will never commit the forbidden moral laws against society. The Parsha ends with the same message as with which it began:

והיתם לי קדשים כי קרוש אני ה

You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy(20 :26).

Therefore we learn that only if we follow the Mitzvot can we be holy. 

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