This is a commentary on the Torah portion Kedoshim – “Holy.” If the previous portion begins what is regarded as lev ha’torah (the heart of the Torah), this portion is the “heart of the heart.” This sidrah defines the call to Israel to be holy “because I the LORD your God am holy.”
This portion emphasizes the need to be holy – kadosh (set apart) – but in the right way and for the right purpose. While we cannot imitate God’s purity entirely, we can imitate His attributes in that He is merciful, kind and generous. These traits manifest in how we treat parents, the stranger and people we do business with.
Furthermore, because He is not aloof from the world, neither should we be aloof, meaning, though we are in the world we are not to partake of the world’s deeds. We must be separate from them and, yet, still provide light to them.
The sidrah also provides us with what many rabbis consider the “sum of the Torah” – the command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” According to Y’shua, this command and the command to “love the LORD your God” summarizes, and is the basis for, all the other commands. This is at the heart of how we are to be “holy.”
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