1999YHWH spoke to Moshe, saying:
Your Shall be 'Wholly'
Speak to the entire community of the Children of Israel, and say to them:
Holy are you to be, for holy am I, YHWH your God!
Each-man his mother and his father you are to hold-in-awe, and my Sabbaths you are to keep: I am YHWH your God!
Do not turn-your-faces to no-gods, and molten gods you are not to make yourselves, I am YHWH your God!
Now when you slaughter a slaughter-offering of shalom to YHWH, for your being-accepted you are to slaughter it. At the time of your slaughtering it, it is to be eaten, and on the morrow (as well), but what remains by the third day is to be burned in fire. Should it be eaten, yes, eaten on the third day, it is tainted-meat, it will not be accepted; those who eat it his iniquity must he bear, for the holy-offering of YHWH he has profaned, cut off shall that person be from his kinspeople!
Now when you harvest the harvest of your land, you are not to finish (to the) edge of your field in harvesting, the full-gathering of your harvest you are not to gather; your vineyard you are not to glean, the break-off of your vineyard you are not to gather - rather, for the afflicted and for the sojourner you are to leave them, I am YHWH your God!
You are not to steal, you are not to lie, you are not to deal-falsely, each-man with his fellow!
You are not to swear by my name falsely, thus profaning the name of your God-I am YHWH!
Your Kedoshim Navigator
1. What is the reason that we are required to be holy?
2. In this context, what does holy, kadosh mean?
3. List the things that a holy people are supposed to do.
4. How do these relate to each other?
5. What does keeping the Sabbath have to do with honoring one's parents?
Rashi on Holy Shall You Be. "You should stay away from illicit sexual behavior and from sin, for wherever you find prohibitions against licentious behavior you find holiness."
Your Rashi Navigator
1. How does Rashi define holiness?
2. How would you define illicit sexual behavior?
3. What does it have to do with being holy?
Nachmanides on the same verse "You should stay away from illicit sexual behavior and from sin, for wherever you find prohibitions against licentious behavior you find holiness." This is what Rashi thinks.
An early midrash makes the claim that you should be "saintly" in all matters. As it says, "Just as I am holy, so you too shall be holy--just as I distance myself so you too should distance yourself."
This I think should be interpreted in a more general sense. Since "distancing one's self from that which is sinful is not limited to sexual activities. Remember that the principals of the Talmud are called "Pharisees" which means those who distance themselves".
Being holy means how one approaches that which is permitted to him. The Torah permitted one to eat meat and drink wine as well as to have sexual relations with a husband or wife, but one could fulfill this requirement and still behave in an unseemly way with one's spouse -- which would technically be permitted--or one could be a glutton with kosher meat and kosher wine. He would boast that everything he does, the Torah allows, thus being a "sleazebag" with the Torah's permission.
Your Nachmanides Navigator
1. How does Nachmanides differ from Rashi?
2. According to the Ramban, what does Holiness mean?
3. Can this behavior be legislated?
Rashi understands that control of sexual urges is the litmus test for being kadosh. He sees this verse not as a beginning of a new chapter, but as the last line of the previous one, which ends with a list of prohibited sexual activities. Irrespective of how one feels regarding what should and shouldn't be on this list, the idea that sexual intimacy requires kedusha is central to Jewish consciousness and thus the word kiddushin (sanctification) is what we call the ceremony that transforms this activity from a primal urge into a sacred act.
Nachmanides disagrees. He argues that the Torah does not need to teach us the obvious. The verse "Holy shall you be..." is teaching us that it is not enough to follow the rules. Holiness itself cannot be legislated, only a framework can be legislated which still can be manipulated and abused by those who wish to. The purpose of being holy is not relegated to sexual matters but pertains to all acts of desire.
It is not enough to do that which is permitted, it is up to us to sanctify our lives by carrying this consciousness, this attitude that our responsibility doesn't end with the fulfillment of the letter of the law. The law was inscribed for a purpose, to make a holy people and that cannot be forced through the rule of law, but through the hearts and souls and attitudes of the people who choose to follow it.