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"You Shall Be Holy."

“You Shall Be Holy.”

"You shall be holy."

"You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem your God."

Earlier we read in Exodus,

"You shall be a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation."

To be holy is to be separate, elevated, set apart.

Holiness is a religious reality achieved by

elevating the mundane, distinguishing from the everyday, and

focused dedication to God.

To be holy is an aspiration, a goal and a promise.

Certain times, things, places and people can become holy

by their connection to God, the source of Holiness.

In the beginning God created the world.

"By the seventh day Gd completed His work which He had done."

"God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,

because on it He abstained from all His work."

Time was the first to be sanctified,

to be set aside as something holy.

God conferred holiness on the Shabbat, making it a special day.

"You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."

The Jewish people were also set aside like Shabbat to be holy.

Holiness is achievable and possible for each and every one of us.

In addition, martyrs are considered to be holy,

to be Kadoshim, because they sanctified God's name by

giving up their lives for being Jewish.

All those who died because they were Jews are called Kadoshim.

Throughout our long and persecuted history,

we have been killed for merely being Jewish.

Those who were murdered in the Holocaust

because they were Jews are Kadoshim.

A few days ago, on Yom HaShoah we remembered those Kadoshim.

The IDF soldiers who died fighting for the land of Israel

are called Kadoshim.

Next week will be Yom Hazikaron,

a day set aside to remember those Kadoshim.

In addition, those who die in terrorist attacks for being Jews are also Kadoshim.

We have days set aside to feel

both our individual and our collective losses.

We stand together in solidarity, in silence loving our fellow Jew.

The national pain of our historical and

present persecution unifies us,

increasing the love, we feel for each other.

We are all extensions of each other since

we are all part of the same soul.

The divisions between us are an illusion.

One day we will clearly see how we are all interconnected.

Then, perhaps we will not struggle against

bearing a grudge,

or taking revenge,

or stealing,

or gossiping,

or hating our fellow in our hearts,

or giving charity,

or leaving the corners of our fields for the poor.

We will naturally respect and love each other.

Next week will be Yom Haatzamaut, Israeli Independance day.

A day to celebrate Israel as our Jewish homeland.

A holy land.

The only place in the world designated by God for the Jews.

Every day we are given opportunities to

increase holiness in the world.

God gives us so many ways to sanctify and

become sanctified, to become kadosh.

Asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu....

God has sanctified us with commandments, mitzvos, which God commanded us.

By observing, guarding and following these mitzvos,

we become holy.

By acting in God-like ways and by connecting ourselves to God

we become holy.

May we be blessed to live lives which are constantly being elevated.

May we be successful in forging deep connections with

God and each other.

May we feel the hurt and joy of others.

May we each find ways to increase holiness and thereby raise up the whole world.

Shabbat shalom and Chodesh Tov,

Sending love,


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