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    Holiness in context – K’doshim

    The title of the sidra is K’doshim, “holy people”. Holy people, places, times, deeds and ideas are basic to Judaism.

    The holiness which we encounter in this sidra is ethical holiness, exercised when we deal with other people in love, respect, charity and generosity. It is not a holiness attained by withdrawal from the world but the opposite.

    Plunged right into the pressures and problems of daily life, we keep our thoughts pure, our speech clean, our deeds upright.

    The Jewish codes go into detail – ethical holiness by means of correct weights and measures and not cheating other people; treating an employee fairly and not exploiting an employer; speaking the truth and not twisting the facts to one’s own advantage; being respectful and helpful to even the lowliest members of society; giving the same respect to the poor as to the rich; being polite even when disagreeing with another.

    This is holiness where it is most difficult. And it is far more valuable than to be a monk who retreats from the temptations of the world.

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