Moshe speaking to the people tells them: כִּי עַם קָדוֹשׁ אַתָּה, “For you are a holy people…”. (Deut. 14,2) Rashi explains that their holiness derives from the forefathers. Rashi elaborates here and quotes the rest of the verse which states: וּבְךָ בָּחַר יְקֹוָק, “and Hashem has chosen you…”.
Rashi implies that although the Jewish people are inherently holy with that which we acquired from our ancestors, we have our responsibilities to keep this holiness alive within us so that He chooses us on our own merit. How is that to be accomplished? By not following the practices of the pagan cultures.
We who live in a modern world face all sorts of temptations that confront us daily. Television, internet, Facebook, the press, the movies and many other contemporary inventions challenge us regularly. If we want to maintain our holiness, we must constantly be on guard to avoid falling into the snares of our times. The Jewish way of life, as prescribed by the Torah, if one lives by it, will help us elude these pitfalls and keep us in a state of holiness which we inherently received from past generations.