You shall be holy is what Israel received as commandment from the Lord. Holiness is a virtue which we consciously have to choose to be. It does not just come by osmosis from Moses. Many character items can be grouped under holiness and Parashat Kedoshim mentions quite some. The list starts with honoring our parents, which starts with obedience, continues with appreciating their opinion and ends with not stealing their money and possessions when we wait for their death.

Honoring Shabbat is second and staying away from idols is another important one of them (verses 3 and 4). One important idol is our own importance which we think we have, linked with the high value we give to our opinion and our judgment in comparison to other’s. It is curious to see that the church chose to do away with these ingredients of holiness, while using the same Bible as we do. Their parents are the Jewish people who produced the roots of the faith of the church. Shabbat was forbidden soon and disappeared after the 4th century completely. Idols have entered the church and they are still there, by way of man-made rules and antisemitic church “fathers”.

Then real believers recognize this and they are slowly but surely returning to the roots of their faith. Gossip is another issue which has to go in order to become holy (verse 16). When gossip is going on the action can be compared with shedding the blood of the one spoken about, read verse 16, which is called murder. The Lord ends the verse by stating He is Hashem which means that when people gossip they condemn the person talked about and murder him or her. And condemnation is the job of the Judge, while life and death are also in the hands of the Lord being our Creator.

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehillah of Beth Yeshua
Amsterdam, Holland