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Leviticus 19:1-20:27; Amos 9:7-15, Matthew 12:28-34

Our parasha this Shabbat is called Kedoshim – holiness – and is addressed to the entire people of Israel.

Lev 19:1-2

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

2 "Speak to all the congregation of the children

of Israel, dabeit et kol adat B’nei Yisrael -

and say to them:

'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God

am holy. קדֹשים תהיו כי קדוש אני ה’ א-להיכם

From the very first sentence in our Torah portion, we notice that

holiness is not something reserved for the professionals – the Levites or

the Priests. In fact, the call to holiness is the prominent theme

throughout the book of Leviticus. Furthermore, we discover that the

biblical definition of kedusha (holiness) is ‘to be set apart’ in God’s

service. We see this in the 2nd final verse of our portion:

Lev 20:26

26 'And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have

Separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

D’rash: Herschel Raysman


Parashat Kedoshim Saturday 7th May 2022

Leviticus 19:1-20:27; Amos 9:7-15, Matthew 12:28-34

The biblical word “kadosh” (holy) denotes something distinct and lofty. According to the Bible, kedusha (holiness or sanctity) stems from God, who is sanctified and distinct from the created world. Anything closely connected to God receives its sanctity, kedusha, from the divine kedusha. Nearness to God’s presence results in this lofty stae of kedusha. God sanctifies animals (sacrifices), places (the Temple Mount, Mount Sinai and most importantly, people. The king, priest and prophet received kedusha which was imparted by being anointed with consecrated oil.

The sanctity of a place derives from the presence of God there. Thus, when God appears to Moses at the burning bush, that ground automatically becomes sanctified (remove your sandals; Exod. 3:5). Once God’s presence leaves that place, it loses its sanctified status.

Shiur teacher: Nigel Brooker


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