Kedoshim

Torah: Lev 19:1-20:27; Haftorah: Ezek 22:1-19


Kedoshim means holy, set aside for a special purpose, different from others. The Torah tells us that the people are to become holy. How does one become holy?

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya’s mother permeated his heart and mind with the words of Torah and its study long before his birth. She would sit outside the houses of study under an open window so the baby could hear the words. Later, she asked a rabbi to bless her child while still in the womb. The rabbi said, "May your child shine with the light of Torah."

After the child was born, she continued with her son, sitting under the window of the house of study. This child became one of our ancient sages and a hero of Judaism.

The Brit Chadisha (New Covenant) tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of G-d. Romans 10:17

We must permeate our hearing, and thereby our lives, with the holy words of G-d, to be made holy. How can a person obey G-d if he does not know what G-d said?

To be holy is to be obedient to the concepts and precepts of Torah because Torah is the expressed will of G-d in writing. Only by practicing what is written does one become holy.

How then can one ever learn Torah enough to practice and become holy? (Please do not confuse being holy with having atonement for your sins.)

A student came to rabbi Hillel, asking to be taught the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Rabbi Hillel responded, "‘Love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart soul and might, and love your neighbor as yourself.’ This is the Torah, the rest is commentary, now go and learn what it means."

This is where we begin. Love G-d and love your neighbor as you love yourself. The rest of the commentary tells us how to do this.

Excerpts From Perkei Avos

‘Simon the Just was one of the last survivors of the Great Assembly. He used to say, "upon three things the world is based: upon the Torah, upon divine worship, and upon acts of benevolence"‘

‘Let your house be a meeting-house for the wise (in Torah); sit amidst the dust of their feet, and drink their words with thirst’.

‘Fix a period for study of the Torah’

‘An empty-headed man cannot be a sin-fearing man, nor can a person ignorant (of Torah) be pious, nor can one who is engaged overmuch in business grow wise (in Torah)’

‘Be watchful in the study of the Torah, and know what answer to give to the unbeliever; know also before Whom you toil and Who is your Employer Who will pay you the reward of your labor’

‘If two sit together and interchange no words of Torah, they are a meeting of scorners, concerning whom it is said, "The godly man sitteth not in the seat of the scorners" (Psalms 1:1) …’

Shavua tov b’Yeshua (Have a good week in Yeshua)

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