Posts Tagged 'Holiness'

On One Kedusha

Not to limit either, but traditional Judaism tends to spend much more of their resources toward keeping the ritual elements of our religious practice holy while turning a blind eye to the greater needs of global poverty and justice. In a similar way, liberal Judaism has tended to skip the ritualism and instead stress how we might create a just planet. I was thinking about this when reading through  Kedoshim, this week’s Torah Portion. There  we learn that holiness is realized through certain behaviors. The examples given here are keeping Shabbat, being in awe of one’s father and mother, not worshiping idols, giving charity, being honest, and the paying of wages on time. The Torah does not give us two lists for how to achieve Kedusha, holiness, in our lives. There is one integrated list. We all need to strive to do our part to make sure that the collective Jewish people are achieving our goal of a sustainable global contribution.

If there is nothing else that I have tried to convey in my past 10 years as a Rabbi, it is that just as there is really only one unified understanding of Kedusha, there is one Jewish people. Here in the messy middle of pluralism we get tangled up in all of the complexities of what we really think of Holiness. Yes, it some times hurts, but we never have to hide who we are. We are all asked to bring our whole selves to the conversation of Holiness. It is my belief that we will only be holy as a collective when each of us are given the room to be whole.


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