Kedoshim

Finally, the One Commandment is said explicitly: “Be holy!” This commandment resonates through subsequent examples. We can find social reasons for respecting the elderly or giving to the poor – but how banal is such a life! How different to consciously treat these as acts of holiness! The prohibitions, though, present greater interpretive challenges. How to consciously, sacredly, refrain from cursing the deaf or lying? Should I put myself in such situations, in order to deny them? Or build layers of fences to guard myself from such acts? Or, maybe, turn every such prohibition into a positive commandment: consciously, sacredly, find a way to speak to those who can’t hear me, for whatever reason; consciously, sacredly, find ways of speaking truths.

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[Inspired by: Leviticus 19; The Builders, by Franz Rosenzweig; R. Jonathan Sacks on Kedoshim; and William Blake’s ‘Holy Thursday‘.]

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