13 May Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark For Parashat K’doshim 5776
This Shabbat we read from Parashat K’doshim which begins what Biblical scholars call the “Holiness Code” – a chapters-long set of commandments that are focused on the instruction given to the Israelites to be a holy people. In fact, the word “k’doshim” comes from the phrase “k’doshim tihyu”, meaning “you shall be holy” which are the words the Torah uses. Throughout this Torah portion and the ones that follow we are reminded that while being God’s people is of course important and special, simply existing is not actually enough. Being holy is about actively being a good person as opposed to sitting back and letting the goodness come to you. We should go out of our way to be a holy people, not sit back and relax expecting that everyone will think that we, God’s chosen people, are holy. There is much work to be done in this endeavor, but we can begin by identifying problems, fixing them and being good to our fellow human beings. That’s always a good place to start.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik