Kedoshim | ?????? | “Holy”
– Our Father(Abba) who art in heaven ; May your Name be kept HOLY
– Abba, You are the Most Ancient Holy One and Mighty One of Israel, You separated us from other nations to Serve you and to became a kingdom of priests and a HOLY NATION.
– Holy, Holy Holy is the Most High of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.
The Thirtieth reading from the Torah and seventh reading from Leviticus is named Kedoshim(??????), which mean “holy.” In the chapter of Leviticus 19:2, which says, “You shall be Holy, for I the Most High your G-d am Holy.” And it describes the holy community through a series of specific commandments.
The first of the commands Most High gives, after telling us to “be holy,” is to revere our parents and honoring the Sabbath.
“You shall be holy since I, G-d, Your Lord, am holy. Every man should revere his mother and his father and you should observe my Sabbaths. I am G-d, your Lord”. –Leviticus 19:2-3
Kedoshim begins with G-d telling the Israel people that they are to be holy, “for I, G-d their Lord, am Holy.” The verse informs us that a Israel sanctity can be of such magnitude that it comes to resemble G-d’s. So it is that, before giving the Torah, G-d tells the Israel people: “You shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” In other words, every Israel has the capacity to reach the lofty level of a “High Priest,” with the same measure of love for G-d as Aharon and his sons displayed. … Man’s potential for sanctification is such that it even bears a degree of comparison to G-d’s. And it explains the concept of holiness as the means for being separate from the other nations. Three basic formats for holiness exist: Time, place, and person. The ultimate integration of the three is found in the person of the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. … Because a person possesses an “actual part of G-d” within his being, it is possible for him to appreciate — and express — holiness on all levels, even within the confines of material existence.
And G-d spoke to Moshe saying: ‘Speak to the entire Community of Israel, and say to them “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your G-d, am holy.”‘ -Leviticus 19:1-2
To be “holy” means to be “set apart.” Which help us to be “holy,” include such “down to earth” things as; not cheating, paying workers on time, cursing the deaf, not gossiping, correctly rebuking someone, not bearing grudges, and loving neighbour as oneself.
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people; and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. For you have tasted that Adonai is good. -1 Peter 2:1-3
When we act with love for our fellow man, we bring the Shechinah, G-d’s Presence, down into the world; hatred between men expels the Shechinah from the world.
Peter’s commentary on Leviticus 19:2: …but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work,conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear… –1 Peter 1:15-17
The Kotzker Rebbi said: How can man be holy! Only because “I the Lord your G-d am Holy.” (Shem Mishmuel Vayikra page 277) : The Shem Mishmuel, a grandson of the Kotzker Rebbi : Every Jew has within him a part of G-d’s holiness, which enables him to achieve holiness. Man can become holy, because man was created in the image of G-d. But every person possesses a different soul, therefore each person has a different holiness within him.
Holiness in Physical Pleasure
“For three years the fruit shall be ‘Orlah,’ and may not be eaten. In the fourth year, all of the fruit shall be holy, for praising G-d.” -Leviticus 19:23-4
The Talmud in Berachot 35a quotes this verse as the source for reciting a brachah (blessing) over food. “‘Holy, for praising G-d’ — this teaches that (fruit and other foods) require a blessing before and after eating.”
After instructing the crowds to sit down on the grass, he took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking up toward heaven, made a b’rakhah. – Matthew 14:19
Then he took a piece of bread, gave thanks to Most High……. – Luke 22:19
Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to G-d by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. -Philippians 4:6
Brachah : “Blessed are you O lord, our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.”
A brachah is not just our gratitude for the physical pleasure we are about to enjoy. Each blessing should make us aware of a far greater kindness of G-d: that even material pleasures can be a source of spirituality and holiness. Our fruit thus becomes “holy, for praising G-d.” We experience an inner joy when we realize that every form of physical pleasure was created with the opportunity to refine the spirit and uplift the soul.
Rav Kook noted, is kodesh — holiness. Even when we eat, even when we partake of worldly pleasures, we should be able to find holiness.
So you will eat and be satisfied, and you will bless Adonai your G-d for the good land he has given you. – Deuteronomy 8:10
That is, everything you do or say, do in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks through him to G-d the Father. -Colossians 3:17
Fear Your Father and Mother:
On the other hand, the Torah teaches: You shall fear your father and mother and guard my Sabbaths, I am G-d. -Leviticus 19:3
The Talmud stresses this point in the following passage: When the Holy One, Blessed be He, said “I am… You shall have no other …” the nations of the world said “He is preaching for His own aggrandizement. But when He said “Honor your father and mother,” they praised …… by the end of the commandments they came to appreciate the truth in the first ones. (Kiddushin 31a)
Zohar: It explains the idea of “father and mother” beyond our physical parents, to honoring Most High, that is both the “masculine” and “femine” aspects of Most High – (Chokhmah and Binah).
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 90a – HONOUR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER. R. Hiya connected this command with the words: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden” (Gen. II, 10). ‘The “river” he said, is the issue of the fountain which flows perennially and from whence the whole Garden of Eden is watered, and this issue [Tr. Note: Tifereth.] of the holy fountain is called Ab- “Father”.’
Aspects of Most High: [ Keter( Upper Crown,Will, Spirit of Most High, Ancient), Chokmah – YOD – Father, Abba ]; [ Binah – Hay – Upper Mother ]
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2,page 55a – The Yod and the He [Father and Mother], in the Divine Name are mingled, and one is contained in the other and they are never separated, being for ever united in love, being the source whence emanate all those streams and springs of blessing and satisfaction to the universe.
It is very interesting to note that the Midrash Rabbah says Torah a “tutor.” Midrash Rabbah – Genesis I:1, – Then I was by Him, as a nursling (amon); and I was daily all delight (Proverbs VIII, 30). ‘Amon’ means tutor; ‘amon’ means covered; ‘amon’ means hidden; and some say, ‘amon’ means great. ‘Amon’ is a tutor, as you read, As an omen (nursing father) carrieth the sucking child (Num. XI, 12).
“As a man whose mother comforts him, so I will comfort you” -Isaiah 66:13
The Same way Paul says about Torah in Galatians: Accordingly, the Torah functioned as a custodian ( i.e Tutor) until the Messiah came, so that we might be declared righteous on the ground of trusting and being faithful. -Galatians 3:24
Binah representing the supernal “Mother” is never separated from Chokhmah (the supernal Father). Therefore, the Ruach haKodesh “proceeds” from the heavenly Father “through the Mother.”
“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send you from the Father — the Spirit of Truth, who keeps going out from the Father — he will testify on my behalf. -John 15:26
Yeshua’s authority was given to Him by the Father, for His earthly role as a divine heavenly Tzaddik and suffering Messiah:
Binah (i.e Teshuva, Understanding ) is said to be the feminine counterpart to the masculine Chokhmah. Wisdom and Understanding (Binah ) are often mentioned together in Scripture, as one is very much “in need” of the other. Binah is said to be the divine source of souls, hence the “upper mother” aspect, which is also associated with above Jerusalem.
But the Yerushalayim above is free, and she is our mother ( divine source of souls); -Galatians 4:26
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the stake. Wherefore G-d also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Yeshua haMashiach is Lord, to the glory of G-d the Father. -Philippians 2:7-11
He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. -John 15:23-24
Love Your neighbour:
New light is thus shed on the celebrated Talmudic passage in which Hillel is asked by a potential convert to teach him the entire Torah while he stands on one foot. Hillel responds: “What is despised by you do not do to your friend. This is the entire Torah, the rest is commentary; go learn!” (Shabbat 31a)
Hillel’s Aramaic paraphrase of the verse “Love your neighbour as your self” is found in the Targum Yerushalmi. Rashi’s explanation: What is despised by you, do not do to your friend. Do not abandon your friend and the friend of your father. (Proverbs 27), This refers to G-d. Do not break His Words, for you hate when your friend ignores your words.
Yeshua Words: The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12 :31
“You shall rebuke your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:17). This may sound like an obligation to point out others’ wrongdoings, however the original Hebrew says: “You should give TOCH’ACHA to your neighbor.” Toch’acha is from the same word as Hoch’acha, and means “proof.” What does this teach us about how to change the behavior of others ; If you reprove a scoffer, he will hate you; if you reprove a wise man, he will love you. – Proverbs 9:8
How might this command relate to the one presented right before it, “Don’t stand by your brother’s blood” -Leviticus 19:16.
The Way of the Land Precedes the Torah:
The Hungarian Chareidi Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal when he wrote his in depth, scholarly work about Eretz Yisrael, Redemption and Unity. He explained that the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel will affect even the Diaspora Jews, who will become more unified through their soul’s connection to the center established in the Land of Israel (Em Habanim Semeichah page 95).
The meraglim (spies) in the wilderness were not interested in entering the Land of Israel, because they claimed that Torah precedes the Land of Israel. Therefore, they preferred to remain in the wilderness and learn Torah from Moshe. However, according to the midrash, Derech Eretz – the way that leads to the Land – precedes Torah, as it states: “To guard the way of the land, the Tree of Life” (Bereishit 3:24). There is no Tree of Life except the Torah as it states, “She is a Tree of Life to those who hold on to her” (Mishlei 3:18). This teaches us that the way to the Land of Israel precedes the Torah. (Tana, D’Bei Eliyahu Rabah Chapter 1). Although the term “Derech Eretz” usually is translated to mean “The way of the world,” according to Rabbi Akiva Yoseph Shlessinger, Derech Eretz refers to the Land of Israel.
For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. – Ezekiel 36:24
Yeshua Words: who will not receive a hundred times over, now, in the ‘olam hazeh, homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and lands — with persecutions! — and in the ‘olam haba, eternal life. -Mark 10:30
He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. – Deuteronomy 30:5
However the only way we can reflect the glory of the Infinite One, is to engage in the acts of chesed ( loving kindness ) that He commands us to do.
“Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah — justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to — without neglecting the others! – Matthew 23:23
Deuteronomy 30: 1- 5
Ezekiel 20: 2-20
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Isaiah 6 : 1 – 6
Matthew 6 :9 – 10
II Corinthians 12:2
In this Torah portion, G-d describes to Moses many ethical and ritual laws aimed at helping people live lives of holiness. The laws described include some of those recorded in the Ten Commandments, such as respecting one’s parents, keeping the Sabbath and not stealing, etc. Achieving holiness through keeping the mitzvot is the required condition that makes Israel worthy of living in the Holy Land. “You shall faithfully observe all My laws…lest the land, to which I bring you to settle in, spew you out” -Vayikra 20:22
Your Name be Kept Holy:
“Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” .
You, therefore, pray like this: ‘Our Father (Abba ) in heaven! May your Name be kept holy – Matthew 6 :9
Our Father who art in heaven(Babylonian Talmud; Yoma 85b, Sotah 49b, Avot 5:20; Vayikra Rabbah ch 32.
The “Abba” correlates to Chokmah/Wisdom. We can view it is the “highest” and as “Keter/Crown” is “beyond” and considered as “nothingness.”
Chokmah emanates from this nothingness, as is written: “Wisdom comes into being from nothing (ayin).” – Job: 28:12
Thus, all prayer is ultimately directed to this ‘highest accessible point’ of “Abba/Chokmah.” “Which art in heaven” : The idea of “heaven” is associated with the ‘highest world’ within all things created, which is called Beriah (“Creation”). In Hebrew the plural word shamayim (heavens) is typically used and within this is the idea of different levels of heavens.
Rabbi Shaul’s ‘third heaven’ which is among the ‘seven heavens: I know a man in Messiah who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. -2 Corinthians 12:2
AMIDAH: “AVOT” – THE FATHERS
Blessed are you, O Lord our G-d and G-d of our fathers, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac and the G-d of Jacob, the great, mighty and revered G-d, the Most High G-d who bestows loving kindnesses, the creator of all things, who remembers the good deeds of the patriarchs and in love will bring a redeemer to their children’s children for his name’s sake. O king, helper, saviour and shield. Blessed are you, O Lord, the shield of Abraham.
Turning back to the second prayer of the Amidah, we see the expression of Binah through the power of life & resurrection that emanates from Gevurah:
Binah is the “head” of the Sefirot of the “left side” which is that of “form” or “restriction.” It is called the source of souls and the fountain of life where the properties of Keter and Chokmah become visible. It is the source of life giving waters from which the “River of Life” emerges. Binah is further considered “mother” to the Sefirah of Gevurah, which lies ‘beneath’ it on the left side. Gevurah is the concept of “concentration of power” and associated with the resurrection of the dead.
AMIDAH: “GEVUROT” – THE POWERS
The Powers of G-d You, O Lord, are mighty forever, you revive the dead, you have the power to save. You sustain the living with loving kindness, you revive the dead with great mercy, you support the falling, heal the sick, set free the bound and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust. Who is like you, O doer of mighty acts? Who resembles you, a king who puts to death and restores to life, and causes salvation to flourish? And you are certain to revive the dead. Blessed are you, O Lord, who revives the dead.
“Hallowed be thy name” : This concept of separation relates to the “holiness” of G-d. Though we ‘relate to’ Chokmah/Abba and Binah/Imma, we ultimately recognize that G-d is separate/holy (Keter/Crown).
This brings us to the third prayer of the Amidah which follows the same pattern:
AMIDAH: “KEDUSHAT HASHEM” – THE HOLINESS OF G-D
“You are holy, and your name is holy, and holy beings praise you daily. Blessed are you, O Lord, the holy G-d.” as applied to the most holy four-letter Name of G-d (Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey) we have:
Yud = father ; Hey = mother ; Vav = son/groom/ZA ; Hey = daughter/bride/malkhut/the divine presence in Creation/humans
Adding this dimension to the four-letter Name, we now have:
- Yud = father = sefirah of chokmah
- Hey = mother = sefirah of binah
- Vav = son/groom = six sefirot of ZA: chesed, gevurah, tiferet, netzach, hod and yesod
- Hey = daughter/bride = sefirah of malkhut (kingdom)
- This world of ZA is seen as ‘between’ our physical world and the spiritual world related to “heaven.” It is clear representation in the book of torah is the ladder in Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28:10-19, which showed earth/Jacob at the base, heaven/G-d at the top, and angels going back and forth in between – the ladder representing a realm that is called the world of angels.
- Our Father (Chokmah), Which art in heaven (Binah), Hallowed be thy name (Keter)
- Thy kingdom come (Chesed), Thy will be done (Gevurah)
- On earth, as it is in heaven (Tiferet), Give us this day our daily bread (Netzach)
- Forgive us our sin as we forgive those who sin against us (Hod),
- Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil. (Yesod), Which brings us to the final Sefirah of Malkhut.
For instance in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 we see a prayer of David that resembles the Prayer of the New Testament : “Blessed are You, Lord G-d of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness (chesed) , The power (Gevurah) and the glory (Tiferet) , The victory (Netzach ) and the majesty (Hod) ; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours (Yesod) ; Yours is the kingdom (Malchut) , O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great, and to give strength to all.”
Another example in New Testament book of Jude 1: 24-25: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless. Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to G-d our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”
Thus, in traditional siddurim (prayer books) we find this expression: “I hereby do this mitzvah for the sake of the unification of The Holy One, Blessed is He, and His Divine Presence, in fear and in love, to unify the Name of yud-hey with vav-hey in completion, in the name of the entire Jewish people.”
We bring together the ‘father/mother’ personae of the Name (Yud-Hey) and connect them with the groom/bride personae (Vav-Hey) and cause the “Name of G-d to be One.”
When we listen and obey his VOICE: and “love G-d with our heart (prayer), mind (study) and strength (following the commandments)” in Deuteronomy 6:5, we cause the ‘bride to come closer to the groom’ – Bringing the coming of the heavenly kingdom down to the earth.
Another way of expressing the coming of the Kingdom(Malchut) as we find in : “And YHVH shall become King over all the earth; on that day shall YHVH be one, and His Name ONE.” -Zechariah 14:9
In reverence to the four letters Sacred Name (or Tetragrammaton), as it is written: ‘Do not raise the Name of HaShem your G-d in vain” (Ex 20:7), and: “Do not desecrate my Holy Name” (Lv 22:32; cf. Mishneh Torah, negative command 63), and also: “He that blasphemes the Name of HaShem shall be put to death” (Lv 24:16; cf. Yad, Avodat Kokhavim 2:7). This rule is called “Motzi Shem Shamayim Levatala” (Uttering the Heavenly Name uselessly; cf. Nedarim 10b). In the beginning of the Second Temple era people greeted each other making use of the Sacred Name, in a reverential and in a holy atmosphere .(f) Apparently the name began to be desecrated (i.e. made common) by some heretics (cf. Mishna Berakhot 9:5; cf. Sanhedrin 10:1; Tosefta Yadayim 2:9; cf. Rash Mishnantz on MIshna Yadayim 4:8). Then it was decreed that in order to not profane it, only the high priest was allowed to pronounce the Sacred Name and only inside the Temple walls. Then it would be taught to selected worthy students and keep it secret (cf. Mishna Sotah 7:6, 38a; Yoma 6:2; cf. Qidushin 71a; Mishne Torah, Hilkhot Tefillah u’vrikat Kohanim 14:10). The Mishna decreed that someone who pronounces [out of the Temple] the Sacred Name as it is spelled doesn’t have a portion in the World to Come (cf. Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1; cf. 101a). With the intention to avoid pronouncing the Sacred Name by mistake, they didn’t even write it down in non-Biblical literature unless it was necessary. They used circumlocutions instead, such as: Abba (Father), Shamaya (Heaven), Eloqa (G-d), HaShem (the Name)… etc and also ‘Adonai’ (‘The Lord’; whose Aramaic equivalent is ‘Mar-YAH’, My-LORD). Certainly the Nazarenes/disciples of Yeshua followed this same principle, for in their literature the Sacred Name is not pronounced, not even once.
Holy, Holy, Holy:
About Messianic age, it is written (Isaiah 4:3), “And it will be, that he who is left in Zion, and he who remains in Jerusalem, ‘holy’ shall be said to him.” The Talmud teaches us that the angels will chant, “holy, holy, holy,” before the Tzadikim, just like they do before G-d (i.e., Revelation 4:8). For the Tzadikim who remain faithful before the Messiah’s coming, will deserve this, and much more.
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 10a – Then the lower He’ (Shekinah) shall be filled from the upper spring (the highest Sephiroth), and be crowned and radiate in perfection until the Sabbath of the Lord arrives to gather souls in the joy of holiness throughout this whole seventh millennium. Then the holy spirits of the people of Israel at the fulness of time will be invested with new, holy bodies, and be called “Saints”: “And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion and that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy” (Isa. III, 4). These are the veiled mysteries.
“Every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third face the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.” -Ezekiel 10:14
The location of the four living creatures, who proclaim “Holy, Holy, Holy,” is said to be around the Throne, in the world of Beriah.
The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord G-d, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come! -Revelation 4:8
And the cherubim and seraphim standing about the throne, the six-winged and many-eyed ones do not depart, standing before the Lord’s face doing his will, and cover his whole throne, singing with gentle voice before the Lord’s face: Holy, holy, holy, Lord Ruler of Sabaoth, heavens and earth are full of Your glory.” -II Enoch 21:1
As Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh states: “In each of the three lower worlds there exists a class of angels (messengers of G-d to manifest His Presence and rule over the created entities of the lower worlds). The world of Beriah is the spiritual abode of the serafim (“fiery angels”). These are the angels that the prophet Isaiah saw in his vision of the Divine chariot. These are the angels that exclaim to G-d “Holy, Holy Holy is the G-d of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” “Olam Ha’Beriah – The World of Creation,” Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
Seraphim are standing above it: six wings has each one; with two [each] covers its face, and with two [each] covers its feet, and with two [each] flies.” -Isaiah 6:2
John’s vision is similar to that of Ezekiel’s, with an interesting variation. John shows the creatures as having six wings and Ezekiel as having four. Isaiah also recorded these same beings as having six wings: This variation is mentioned in the Talmud, which offers the solution that the living creatures have six wings when the Temple is standing, and four when it is not. The additional wings are used to create song.
“One verse says: Each one had six wings; and another verse says: And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings! — There is no contradiction: the one refers to the time when the Temple was no longer standing, [when] as it were, the wings of the living creatures were diminished. Which of them were taken away? — R. Hananel said that Rab said: Those with which they utter song. [For] here it is written: And with twain he did fly. And one called unto another and said; and [elsewhere] it is written: Wilt thou set thine eyes upon it? It is gone. But our Rabbis said: Those with which they cover their feet, for it is said: And their feet were straight feet, and if [these wings] had not been taken away, whence could he have known! — Perhaps, [the feet] were exposed and he saw them. For if you do not say so, [then from the words], As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of man, [one might infer] likewise that [the wings covering them] were taken away! They must therefore have been exposed, and he saw them; similarly here, they were exposed, and he saw them. But how can they be compared? Granted that it is customary to expose one’s face before one’s master, but it is not customary to expose one’s feet before one’s master!” -Talmud, Chagigah 13b
When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever, – Revelation 4:9
“Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew.” -Isaiah 6:2
the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying, Worthy are you, our Lord and G-d, the holy One, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created! -Revelation 4:10 -11
The singing of these creatures proclaims the message, “Holy, holy, holy,” as found in both Isaiah and Revelation. These three words are spoken in the directions of south, north and east. The creatures then utter the word “blessed” to the last direction of west. This is a reflection of the mystery of the Shema, which states, “Blessed be His glorious name whose Kingdom is forever and ever.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 71b – What is it they declaim? “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6: 3). They turn to the south and say “holy”, they turn to the north and say “holy”, they turn to the east and say “holy”, they turn to the west and say “blessed”. And that firmament rests upon their heads, and in whatever direction it turns, their faces turn also. They turn their faces to the four cardinal points, and all revolve in a circle. The firmament is imprinted, at the four corners of a square, with four figures, of a lion, an eagle, an ox, and a man; and the face of a man is traced in all of them, so that the face of Lion is of Man, the face of Eagle is of Man, and the face of Ox is of Man, all being comprehended in him. Hence it is written: “As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man” (Ezek. I, 10). Eurther, the firmament with its enclosed square contains the gamut of all the colours.Outstanding are four colours, each engraved with four translucent signs, both higher and lower. These when decomposed become twelve. They are green, red, white, and sapphire, which is made up of all these colours. Hence it is written, “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ibid. I, 28): containing, that is to say, all shades of all colours.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 71b – AND GOD SAID TO NOAH… THIS IS THE TOKEN OF THE COVENANT WHICH I MAKE BETWEEN ME AND YOU… I HAVE SET MY RAINBOW IN THE CLOUD. The past tense “I have set” shows that the bow had already been there. In connection with this passage R. Simeon discoursed on the verse: And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone (Ezek. I, 26). ‘Before this verse,’ he said, ‘we find the words, “And when they went I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty” (Ibid. 24). These are the four sacred and mighty beings called Hayyoth (animals), by whom the firmament is upheld, and whose wings are usually joined together to cover their bodies. When, however, they spread out their wings, a volume of sound swells forth, and they break out into songs of praise, “as the voice of the Almighty”, which never becomes silent, as it is written, “so that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent” (Ps. XXX, 13).
The rainbow represents the supernal splendor of the heavenlies. Recall that Joseph, who represents Yesod and the rainbow, had a coat of “many colors” (Genesis 37:3) given to him: Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 71b – The same is referred to in the text I HAVE SET MY BOW IN THE CLOUD. The bow here has a parallel in the text, “But his bow abode firm” (Gen. XLIX, 24), i.e. the covenant of Joseph,because he was a righteous man, had for its symbol the bow, since the bow is linked with the covenant, and the covenant and the righteous are integral in one another. And because Noah was righteous, the sign of his covenant was the bow. (The word vayophozu, mentioned in connection with Joseph, is akin to the term paz (fine gold) in the passage, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold” (Ps. XIX, 11), and it means that his arms shone with the lustre of the most desirable substance, they shone with the light supernal, since he had observed the covenant; hence he is named “Joseph the righteous”.) And the rainbow is therefore called ” covenant” because they embrace one another. Like the firmament it is a supernal resplendent glory, a sight of all sights, resembling the hidden one (the Shekinah), containing colours undisclosed and unrevealable. Hence it is not permitted to gaze at the rainbow when it appears in the heavens, as that would be disrespectful to the Shekinah, the hues of the rainbow here below being a replica of the vision of the supernal splendour, which is not for man’s gaze …
Hence when the earth saw the rainbow as a holy covenant, it was once more firmly established, and therefore God said, AND IT SHALL BE FOR A TOKEN OF A COVENANT BETWEEN GOD, ETC. The three primary colours and the one compounded of them, which we mentioned before, are all one symbol, and they all show themselves in the cloud. “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone” (Ezek. I, 26). This alludes to the “foundation stone” (eben shethiah), which is the central point of the universe and on which stands the Holy of Holies. “The likeness of a throne”, i.e. the supernal holy throne, possessing four supports, and which is symbolic of the Oral Law. “And upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above” (Ibid.); this symbolises the Written Law. From here we learn that copies of the Written Law should rest on copies of the Oral Law (and not vice versa), because the latter is the throne to the former. “As the appearance of a man” refers to the image of Jacob, who sits on it.’ …
BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY – -Studies from Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
This week’s parshah, KEDOSHIM TIHYU, “Be holy.”, was specifically addressed by G-d through His prophet Moses “to all of the assembly of the Children of Israel” (Leviticus 19:2). In the words of the Midrash: “This parshah was addressed to all of the assembly because most of the main bodies of Torah law depend upon it. ‘Be holy’ — be pure (PERUSHIM), separate from the world’s vanities. ‘For Holy am I, HaShem your G-d’: This teaches that if you sanctify yourselves, I consider it as if you had sanctified Me. And if you do not sanctify yourselves, I consider it as if you have not sanctified Me. Could it mean that if you sanctify Me then I am sanctified but if not, then I am not sanctified? No – because it says, ‘.for I am Holy’ — I am in My holiness whether they sanctify me or not.” (Sifra, Kedoshim 1:1).
The code of conduct whose foundations are laid forth in the present parshah gives practical expression to the challenge addressed to the Children of Israel when they assembled at Sinai to receive the Torah. “If you will surely listen to My voice and guard My covenant, you shall be a precious treasure out of all the nations, for the whole earth is Mine. And you shall be for Me a kingdom of priests and a HOLY NATION: these are the words you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:5-6).
Following the account of the Giving of the Torah in YITRO, parshas MISHPATIM laid down many of the basic laws governing man’s behavior with his fellows including the prohibitions of murder, robbery and theft, the laws of restitution for damages, etc. Many of the laws in MISHPATIM are somewhat specialist in the sense that they apply particularly to Dayanim, Torah judges.
However the code laid forth in the present parshah, KEDOSHIM applies to everyone, as it is the basic Torah code for everyday life, starting with the respect due to parents and the observance of the holy Shabbos — which overrides even the former, should any conflict arise.
The next Mitzvah in the parshah — to eat sacrificial portions within their appointed time — cannot unfortunately be observed today in the absence of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. However, it is worth noting that correct timing is an important part of G-d’s code. Things should be done at their appointed time and not dragged on until all the taste goes out of them. The entire Oral Torah begins with an extensive discussion about the exact time for reciting the evening Shema (Berachos, Chapter 1). It is unfortunate that at times SJT (“Standard Jewish Time”) strays somewhat widely from precision timing. Every moment in life should be treasured, and people’s time should not be wasted for no reason.
The Mitzvos that follow in our parshah are those of giving gifts of produce to the poor, and of basic integrity: “Do not steal, do not deceive and do not lie to one another. Don’t impound your friend’s money, don’t delay payment for services rendered. Don’t unjustly favor either the poor or the rich. don’t hate your brother in your heart, give due reproof, do not take vengeance or nurse a grievance against the children of your people, and love your friend as yourself, for I am HaShem”.
The code of Holiness contained in our parshah is not one that requires its followers to separate from the material world and live apart in ascetic communities such as in monasteries and the like. On the contrary, true KEDUSHAH comes to a person precisely through living his or her life with family, friends and associates, within the wider community and in the workaday world. Making a living within the boundaries of the halachah, taking into account the needs of the needy, dealing correctly in business, abstaining from all theft and corruption, from hatred, vengeance, etc. etc. It is precisely through keeping these commandments in our everyday material lives, while actually dealing with all that we have to deal with each day, that we become purer.
This “purity” is the KEDUSHAH, the “holiness” which is the defining attribute of the path of life set forth in our parshah. In mystical writings, KEDUSHAH is particularly associated with the mental and spiritual faculties of CHOCHMAH, BINAH and DA’AS, while the very foundation for their healthy functioning is the purity of YESOD, moral purity.
In giving us a code of “holiness” that governs the way we do business with one another, how we talk to and about one another, as well as so many other details in our lives in the world, the Torah is teaching us to constantly activate our CHOCHMAH, BINAH and DA’AS powers in everyday life. In the words of the Baal Shem Tov, “An everyday barter exchange also involves the Talmudic law of ‘exchanging an ox for a donkey’.” In other words, everything we do, including in our business lives, is a G-d-given opportunity for discovering buried “sparks” of holiness within the very situations that confront us. We need to activate our minds to recognize the holy potential contained within everyday affairs. Nothing is more evanescent than today: the day is quickly gone. But if we are alert to the mitzvahs we can perform every day, particularly in the realm of “love your friend as yourself” — which includes all forms of kindness — we gather great treasures day by day, all of them stored in G-d’s memory, where nothing is forgotten.
As mentioned above, the spiritual traits of CHOCHMAH, BINAH and DA’AT — the ability to perceive G-dliness and to grasp the divine wisdom — are bound up with YESOD, the “Foundation” — sexual purity. Thus the Torah Code of Holiness in daily life — KEDOSHIM — comes “sandwiched” between the concluding part of the previous parshah, giving the fundamental incest prohibitions, and the concluding part of this week’s parshah, setting forth the penalties for their infringement. This underlines the fact that the true KEDUSHAH depends upon observance of the Torah moral code.
-Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
Haftorah Kedoshim – I will restore My people Israel -Amos 9:7 – 15
The haftorah reinforces the message of Parashat Kedoshim. During the time of the redemption, only the Israel capable of living a holy life will merit living in the rebuilt Land of Israel. Amos prophesies how “All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword…in that day will I raise up the Sukah of David (Temple) that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof, and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:10-11). Another connection between the parashah and the haftorah is that they both describe the importance of working the land of Israel. “When you come into the land, you shall plant every fruit-bearing tree…” (Vayikra 19:23). In Amos Verse 9:11 is the verse that we add to the grace after meals during Succos that prophesies the rebuilding of the Davidic dynasty. The final words of Amos prophesy the coming of Mashiach and the return to Eretz Yisroel. Likewise, the return of the people of Israel to the Promised Land during the redemption is characterized by working the land, as the haftorah describes: “Behold, days are coming, says Hashem, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that sows seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine…– Amos 9:13.
To Plant and Be Planted : “I will bring back the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat their fruit. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them, says Hashem your G-d ”- Amos 9:14-15.
From the sequence of Amos’ promise in our haftorah, it seems clear that if we first work the land and plant, then Hashem will plant us securely in our home land, without ever uprooting us. Planting in the Land of Israel – connecting our souls to their root – connects us to the Land for all eternity.
For Israel there is hope and restoration ahead. G-d will restore the Davidic kingdom (Judah) and promises regeneration to the northern kingdom (Israel).
It is the fulfillment of this very promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they resolutely carry on their acts of worship night and day; yet it is in connection with this hope, your Majesty, that I am being accused by Jews! – Acts 26:7
says, “whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which G-d spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” – Acts 3:21
Rabbi Shaul mentioned in the book of romans about the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel : “For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles( i.e exiled souls of Israel ) be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer; He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” – Romans 11:25-26.
Our Father (Abba) , our King, for the sake of our forefathers, who trusted in You and whom You taught the decrees of life, may You be equally gracious to us and teach us. Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy upon us, instill in our hearts to understand and elucidate, to listen, learn, teach, safeguard, perform, and fulfill all the words of Your Torah’s teaching with love.
We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .
We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BeitYaaqov International.
Gaddi – President