Saturday, April 28, 2007

DVAR TORAH S2: Acharei Mot/Kedoshim (Holy!)

What does it mean to be holy? Well if you were to ask the High Priest in the first of this week's DDTorah portion, he would probably discuss the holiest of ceremonies, the Yom Kippur Avodah in which he enters the presence of the Glory of God, humbling himself before the Divine Presence of the Shechinah. Is the Kohen Gadol the only one who can be holy? No! The next torah portion, Kedoshim says that "you (plural) shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy!" I posed the question to my class this week of how to be holy and they gave answers such as tzedekah, following mitzvot, studying/learning/reading the Torah. The Torah likes these examples and adds things that are intuitive, such as not stealing, lying, bearing false witness, honoring parents, basically a restatement of the Decalogue, loving your fellow as yourself ("The Golden Rule"). Some good-natured ones you might not think of, such as not putting a stumbling-block before the blind nor cursing the deaf, and being equitable to the widow, the orphan, and the poor, the landless Levite, leaving the corners and gleanings of your field for those unfortunate. And then the fun illogical ones, not mixing wool and linen (shatnez), not grafting fruits nor mixing crops in the same field (kilayim). Whatever their reason, these too are considered part of the Holiness Code.

Holiness IS achievable and your instructions are clearly given. Be a good person, a holy person. The rest, my holy friend, is just commentary.

Shabbat Shalom.

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