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Holiness - how do we get there?

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

How do we bring holiness into our lives? Where is holiness to be found?

At the beginning of Kedoshim, this week's Torah portion (in Eretz Yisrael), a command appears: "You shall be holy."

Immediately afterwards, 51 mitzvot are delineated that include every area of life. These mitzvot contain supreme values that were not only relevant during our journey through the Sinai Desert, but also in the days of the judges and the kings, down to our own times in modern Israel, and even in outer space, where Israeli astronaut Eytan Stebbe just spent two weeks living and working in the International Space Station before his return to earth.

Here is a reminder of some of the aspects of holiness that are pertinent to every time and place:

"In the presence of the elderly you shall rise and you shall respect a sage.

You shall not steal.

You shall not deny falsely.

You shall not lie to your fellow peers.

You shall not oppress your fellow. You shall not rob.

The hired worker's wage shall not remain with you overnight until morning.

You shall not curse a deaf person. You shall not place a stumbling block before a blind person.

You shall commit no injustice in judgment; you shall not favor a poor person or respect a great man; you shall judge your fellow with righteousness.

You shall not go around as a gossipmonger amidst your people. You shall not stand by [the shedding of] your fellow's blood.

You shall not hate your brother in your heart.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

This week, once again, we read these eternal passages that are applicable to every one of us, no matter where we find ourselves in life.



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