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Torah Portion

Home > Torah Portion > Dvar for Shemini

Dvar for Mot-Kedoshim
by Shlomo Ressler

Welcome to the Weekly Dvar, a short practical weekly snapshot of the Parsha. This week actually covers two Parshiot (multiple of Parsha), but this Email only snapshoots (is that a word?) the second of the two. As usual, all 15,000 of you are welcome to write back with comments, questions, referrals, or sponsorship ideas (like banners on the website). Enjoy...

Parshat Kedoshim begins with G-d telling the Jews that we should be holy, because G-d is holy (19:1). Rashi and the Midrash expand on the term “holy” to mean refraining from sinning, especially sins involving improper relations.. But why would keeping that commandment specifically make us any holier than any other commandment we keep? Also, what exactly does being “holy” mean?

Rabbi Zweig helps us by explaining the concept of “holiness” in humans: When we have something mundane and ordinary, and we elevate it above its natural level, this is considered making it “holy”. For example, money used for the building of the Bait Hamikdash (Temple) is considered holy, because its use is now elevated to a cause higher than other monies. Human nature includes, among others, two very basic desires: Food and sex. The goal of humans is to control those desires, instead of letting their desires control them. However, Jews have an even high expectation, one that requires them to “raise” their behavior to a higher level. Not only do we have certain foods that we cannot eat, and certain relations we cannot have, but there are times when even the foods and relations that we CAN have are forbidden (women during their period, and milk products with meat). How amazing it is that the most basic needs humans have are the very acts we can use to make us Holy! The Torah is teaching us that being a Jew (and holy) doesn’t mean not enjoying the pleasures of life, but learning when to enjoy, and how!

Quotation of the Week:

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

IM me on AOL or Instant Messenger as "DvarMan"

Have an terrifically amazing Shabbat!!!!!!


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