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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (Leviticus 16-20 )

by Rabbi Ron Jawary

"You shall be holy" (Lev.19:2).This week's Parsha, Kedoshim, seems to make an unreasonable demand of every Jew by commanding us "to be holy." How many of us can spend our days meditating and learning the Torah, only involved with "holy" concerns?

However, the Torah then continues and tells us to be in awe of our parents, to be completely honest in business, and to always keep your word -- with no excuses. We are told to be sensitive to the weak and downtrodden and to be generous and gracious to the poor. These laws are juxtaposed to the Sabbath and other ritual laws.

One of the ideas behind this is that holiness is found not only in the synagogue and rituals, but in our business dealings, in our social relationships, and in those relationships which we tend to take for granted, such as our parents, our spouses. We need to take the lessons of the Torah and apply them to every aspect of our daily lives. That is how we attain genuine holiness.

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