Torah and Tidbits: Kedoshim

Torah: Parashat Kedoshim. The Torah reading begins: “Holy you shall be, for holy am I, the Ever-Present-One (YHVH), your God” (Leviticus 19:1). Holy goes beyond good. Holiness requires viewing the world “as if” the caring Parent of the whole of creation. The verses of Kedoshim bring that lofty concept into daily life. I share below verses of chapter nineteen that end “for I am the Ever-Present-One (YHVH), your God.” This seven-fold refrain adds emphasis and reminds, “I, your God, am watching.”

3. Awe for parents and keeping the Sabbath;
4. Valuing false gods [devaluing what is of supreme importance];
9. Leaving the corners of the fields and fallen crops for the poor and stranger;
12. Desecrating God’s name by using it to swear falsely;
14. Cursing [even] the deaf or placing a stumbling block before the [morally] blind;
16. Standing idly by when your neighbor’s life is in danger;
18. “You must love your neighbor as [you love] yourself.”

Reflection for your Shabbat table: Restate one of those commands with a contemporary example of its application. Why is it a necessary act of holiness?


Sweet Sleep. This coming Wednesday, 12:15-1:30pm, is my final session on “Sleep,” focusing on “Rituals and Aides.” I am gratified by the response to my first two presentations. If you have not attended the first two, you will find them on our website and may ask our office for a copy of the handouts. Please consider coming next week, for great pizza and my final presentation. You will sleep better for having come.

Shavuot. On the first evening of Shavuot, it is customary to study late into the night. Among our presenters this year is Professor Michael Dennin of UCI who has written a book, entitled Divine Science: Finding Reason at the Heart of Faith (2015). I will converse with him on “Why a physicist believes in God.” Our study will include a number of other presenters, details to follow. Please put June 11th at 8pm on your calendars and please come to celebrate the gift of Torah.

Nature Photos: Shabbat beckons us to appreciate creation. Please consider looking at these gorgeous photos for enjoyment and to consider travel destinations (my gratitude to Mark Randall for having shared the link):

Parashat Hashavuah. Tomorrow morning from 8:30 to 9:30am, I will teach two, Jewish-legal responsa: “Tattooing and Piercing” and “The Obligation to Preserve Life with Organ Donation.”

Shabbat Shalom,