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A Modern Orthodox Synagogue

Parashat Kedoshim

Dear Friend,
This week's parasha, Parashat Kedoshim, opens with a directive, dictated by the Almighty to Moshe Rabbeinu, to be relayed to the Jewish people.
That directive is: 
"You shall be holy (kedoshim t'hiyu), for I, the Lord your God, am holy."
The Torah then goes on to list a series of mitzvot that the Jewish people are commanded to keep.  Some of these mitzvot are:
  • To respect one's parents.
  • To keep Shabbat.
  • Not to fashion or worship idols.
  • To provide gifts of tzedakah to the destitute, and to deal honestly in business.
  • To have honest weights and measures.
  • To love your fellow as yourself.
These are just a few of the mitzvot that are provided in Parashat Kedoshim following Hashem's message to the people that "they should be holy."  "Holiness", or "being holy", is not merely an abstract state of being, or a meditative or contemplative state.  Rather, it is a form of faith which is put into action by our deeds.  It is our daily actions, by and large, that will serve to sanctify the individual, raising him or her to a higher plane.  This is a lesson that may be learned from this week's parasha, as the Jewish people are commanded to be holy, and that command is subsequently followed up by mitzvahs to be observed.  Performance of mitzvahs will ensure the continued sanctity of the Jewish people.
All the best,
Rabbi Peretz Robinson