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Laws on which everyone can agree

ואהבת לרעך כמוך


Translation by Yehoshua Siskin


Are you looking for a common denominator that unites the entire nation of Israel? You will find it in parashat Kedoshim that we will read together with parashat Achrei-Mot in the synagogue on Shabbat. Some of its ancient verses we know by heart yet they apply just as well to the society we wish to create in the reestablished home of the Jewish people. Here are some of the demands and laws found in the parasha:

"You shall be holy.

You shall rise before a venerable person and you shall respect the elderly.

Everyone shall fear their mother and their father, and you shall observe My Sabbaths.

You shall not steal. You shall not deny falsely. You shall not lie, one person to another.

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

Your 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 not go around as a gossipmonger amidst your people.

You shall not stand idly by the shedding of your fellow's blood.

You shall love your fellow as yourself."

These laws are not up for debate in the Knesset but need only penetrate our minds and enter our hearts for us to experience the change all of us seek.

Honor parents and the elderly, speak respectfully and never gossip, look after the weak and the disabled, rest on Shabbat, pay workers in a timely manner, take responsibility for and love one another: this is a platform all of us can support.

Shabbat shalom.


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