Dvar Torah Parshat Kedoshim 2008 – 5768 – דבר תורה פרשת קדושים תשס”ח

Some people believe, and for that matter some religions teach, that a person is holy when he lives as an ascetic and cuts himself off from the mundane world. He should have no interests in material acquisitions and should avoid any physical pleasures. Not so the Jewish religion.

The opening of the Sidra and its name emphasizes that we are to be Kedoshim, holy. The Torah does not leave it to our imagination to determine what this means and how it is to be attained. We are told immediately what is expected of us. We are not to set ourselves outside of the realm of reality or the physical world.

On the contrary. The Torah offers us in this Sidra 51 different Mitzvot which we are to observe as a means of becoming holy. They all deal with our normal life activities and our daily existence. One becomes holy by living a normal life but with high ethical and moral standards. One becomes holy by honest relationships with his fellow man. It is through respect for others and honest dealings with people that constitutes holiness in Judaism.

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