Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim - What holiness mean?

A Jew once came to Rabbi Noah Weinberg, and told him Robbi I was traveling to Israel and I went from North to South, from East to the West, l can tell you there is nothing holy in this land , rabbi replyd it is really fascinating may l ask you a question Tell me please "how many burfootsticks did you see in Israel" ? the Jew asked "what is burfootsticks" , the rabbi responded "I'm asking you the question, you don't question me was the question", but Rabbi, the man said, "how can I tell you how many burfootsticksI saw if I don't know what is it" the Rabbi gave a big smile and told him when you say that you traveld to Israel and I didn't find any holiness, do you know what the definition of holiness is if you don't know the definition of holiness how can you know what the feeling of Holiness is ? In Parashat Kedoshim right at the beginning of the parasha Hashem spoke to Moses saying "You shall be holy for holy am l Hashem your God" Rashi explains that the injunction to be holy calls upon Jews to avoid the illicit relationships described in the previous chapter, because wherever there is a separation from immorality, there is holiness. The Ramban, however, maintains that the concept of holiness is not limited to the observance of any particular category of commandments. Rather, it is an admonition that one's approach to all aspects of life be governed by moderation, particularly in the area of what is permitted. In Ramban's memorable phrase, someone who observes only the letter of the law can easily become נבל ברשות התורה a degenerate with the permission of the Torah, for such a person can observe the technical requirements of the commandments while surrendering to self-indulgence, gluttony, and licentiousness. But God demands more of a Jew than obedience to the letter of the law. The commandment to be holy tells us, as the Sages put it, קדש עצמך במתר לך Sanctify yourself in what is permitted to you (Yevamos 20a), by refraining not only from what is expressly forbidden, but from too much of what is permitted. This second part of the pasuk which contains the motivation, "for I am holy," is also noteworthy. We are not expected to lead a boly life merely in contrast to our pagan neighbors. Our holy life s not evaluated in relation to those who wallow in moral excess and prurient filth. Our measuring stick is "for I am holy." We look to Hashem to assess how far we have progressed on the road to attaining kedushah. We must look up to Hashem when we are called upon to sanctify our lives, because he gives us the fortitude to live up to this most noble demand. And as we say every morning. לעולם היה אדם ירא שמים one should always be in fear of God, we can explain that a person needs to be first a human being with common sense, a mensch, not only a person that follows a book like a robot. Have a wonderful Shabbat Rabbi Eli Tal




©2020 by Rabbi Biton - The Jewish Experience CT

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