Monday, April 15, 2013

The Holiness Code - Parashat Acharei Mot - Kedoshim

If you unrolled the Torah, and then rolled it back to the center, the 2 sides would meet just about this Parashat, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim. It's the center of the Torah for a couple of reasons.

This section of Leviticus is called "The Holiness Code":
And God spoke to Moses saying: Speak to the whole Israelite Community, and say to them, " You shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy." (Leviticus 19:1-2)

                     How can we achieve holiness? Where do we start?
It's obvious that we can't be holy alone. We are a part of a community.

  • Do not steal
  • Do not place a stumbling block before the blind
  • Love your neighbor
  • Do not hate your fellow in your heart
  • Leave the corners of the field for the poor and the stranger

This shows us that the Torah is not just a Book of laws, but it's also a lesson in righteousness. Judaism teaches us to love, and respect each other. The laws of Holiness are addressed to the entire Jewish community. The hope is to create a community of people that care about one another, and who show kindness to all. That is what Holiness is all about. There is Holiness when we care for our world, and make it a better place.

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim reminds us that at the center of the Torah there is Holiness. But, also, at the center of Community, there is Holiness, too.

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