Parshat Kedoshim

When Bnei Yisrael stood by Har Sinai a few parshiot ago, and were offered the torah they promised Hashem “Naaseh vinishma” we will do and we will listen; promising their commitment to Hashem and His Torah. Chazal ask on this the obvious question, how can a certain group of individuals make a commitment and the rest of a huge nation and many generations to follow must keep it? How is that fair that we must abide by a promise that was promised a. not by us and b. many many years ago. Chazal answer “kiish echad bilev echad” we are one people we are one heart. We see this theme many times in Judaism- our nation is a united front and we must stand together. At the time when we received the torah say Chazal, we are one heart, since the people at that time wanted the Torah we too want the Torah and that is why they can commit to something, because it is what we want ultimately.

Judaism is a religion of the people. Whereas in modern society when one passes away and an individual is left alone, the laws of availut ensure that one who has lost a family member must be surrounded by people so that they know that they aren’t alone. They have to sit shiva where people come and they must say kadish making them leave their home and find a minyan of people to daven with. This is also true about davening in general, we must find a minyan to daven with- one cannot simply daven alone. But rather they must find other men to daven as a unit.

This theme, of Judaism as a unit is also seen in this week’s parsha, Parshat Kedoshim. In the parsha in Perek Yud Tet in Pasuk Yud Zayin the Torah commands us to not reprimand a fellow Jew and not to bear a sin because of him. Rabbi Eli Scheller explains that when the Torah mentions this- that we should not bear a sin because of another Jew the Torah is teaching us this theme, that we are all one people, one heart, one unit. The Torah is showing that if one Jew does a sin you could potentially get punished for that sin as well. How? If you could have prevented this sin from being done and you did not, then you bear the punishment of his sin as well.

The Chofetz Chaim writes that when we die Hashem might ask us why we didn’t keep Shabbos, learn torah, and recite brachot even though we did observe these mitzvoth. He explains that since not every Jew did these mitzvoth we bear that sin as well because we did not try to go out and correct him. The Chofetz Chaim teaches that we are obligated to reach out to our fellow Jews and bring them closer to Hashem.

Judaism is a religion of many different qualities, but unity is a main theme. The second beit hamikdash was destroyed because of sinaat chinam, hatred of one’s fellow Jew. How does sinaat chinam come about? When we don’t unite as one and help each other, but rather we do the opposite and form jealousy and hatred towards our own nation. Kedoshim, and many other times in the Torah we see that we must not turn to such ways, rather we must love every Jew, and care for every Jew because we are all one nation, one heart, one soul. Not only should we realize this, but practice it because to become one again is the only remedy, the only cure to the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash. Bimhera Biyameinu Amen.

Student Studying in Midreshet Moriah