Kedoshim– Be Holy – because I am Holy.

Holyness is a state of action and not a state of being. If I just sit there watching the Super Bowl, I won’t get holy.

We read this week in the parsha some serious stuff like; (List by Fred Toczek)
1. respecting one’s parents
2. observing the Shabbos
3. not engaging in idol worship, witchcraft and human sacrifice
4. not mutilating or tattooing one’s body
5. not causing irregular mixtures, such as interbreeding of animals, and interweaving of wool and linen (“sha’atnes”)
6. not eating the fruits of a tree for the first 3 years after planting

Laws to encourage compassion towards others (particularly the stranger and the poor), including:
1. leaving a corner of the field and stray gleanings for the poor
2. dealing honesty with others (e.g., not stealing, lying, etc.)
3. a shopkeeper ensuring the accuracy of his weights/scales
4. a judge being impartial
5. judging others favorably
6. not taking another’s possession without his/her permission
7. not withholding a worker’s wages
8. not giving harmful advice
9. not defaming others
10. not misleading a blind or naive person
11. saving the life of another who is in danger
12. admonishing an erring fellow man
13. not embarrassing another
14. not taking revenge or holding a grudge
15. “loving one’s fellow man as one loves oneself”

and lastly, laws about no-no relationships

I guess I’ll start with number one.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Rabbi,

    Any and every moment can be imbued with taking holy action. Therefore, if I am sitting and watching the Superbowl with my father and he says, “please pass me another slice of Dominoe’s pizza” and I say “Yes Father and I love you”…that’s a special holy moment. If I see my neighbor needs another Bud Light during the game and I get him one before he asks, that’s loving him as myself.

    According to some people’s view, if I pass my spouse a beer without putting it on the coffee table first while I’m menstruating, I’ve just broken all those no-no’s and treifed up the moment.

    I’m not sure what my point is other than those top 15 are great foundations for a good civilation and once you start getting into the other 598, it’s just …well 598 more things to worry about.

    My other point is: go easy on the “anti-Superbowl, use the moment to be holy instead” position, it makes for a lot of unhappy balei tshuvas.

  • So Chutzpah, thank yo for the note.

    Sitting and watching the superbowl in order to make your father happy, that is your choice of ways to honor him. Although unless he specifically asks you to do it, I see no reason why you need to.

    Handing someone a Bud light can never be loving your neighbor, that stuff is just not beer.

    These 15 are from the torah and they apply today and well, we can do them, most of the 613 we cannot.

    As far as the harchokos – not handing things directly – well I do not who your Rabbi is, but this is not a trief moment and not so serious as to belittle yourself or to put yourself or anyone else down. These are customs that have become oppresive and frankly, as long as you are not doing the tango, I doubt very much you have done anything close to being wrong.

    Me anti-Superbowl? I think that there are moment for holyness, and if that is your thing than do it, but dont worship it. American worships the superbowl and that is the problem.

    Sorry if I was too hardcore.

  • Amen to the rabbi on that last bit regarding Bud Light. Whiel you may satisfy your father/neighbours need and make him happy, the grave offense against the holiness of beer is simply not worth it.

    Think about it.

  • Agreed Rabbi, not to hardcore.

    However, when people start giving up everything that was important to them, including sports and parents for the sake of the details in the 613 mitzvot we can not do, that’s when problems come in.

    When a spouse chastises a spouse for trangressing on passing a newborn, it’s not the Rabbi’s fault, it’s not even Big Aish’s fault, it’s the spouse’s fault for confusing following halakas for the sake of connecting with and emulating the Creator vs. following them as an excuse to appear righteous & superior rather than oppressive.

    P.s The Bud Light is a girl thing.

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