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    Kaddesh – Acharei Mot

    kadeshThere is a link which most people don’t notice between the seder and the first sidra after Pesach. Both are centered on holiness.

    The sidra of Acharei Mot describes the desecration of the sanctuary caused by the acts of the two sons of Aaron. God had told the leaders and people of Israel to sanctify (kaddesh) the sanctuary but Aaron’s sons thought they knew better.

    The same requirement, kaddesh, opens the procedures on seder night.

    The duty in both cases is kaddesh, to make something holy.

    The difference is that one kaddesh – the one that deals with the sanctuary – applies to space, while the other – dealing with seder night – is concerned with time.

    The twin areas of Judaism’s concern are places and occasions. Special places are set apart from the rest of the physical world. Special occasions are removed from the run of days, week and months.

    But that’s not the end of our concern. The Ramban says, in the interpretation of the Chassidim, “See the holy in everything mundane”. Nothing in God’s world is incapable of bearing the banner of holiness.

    We must start with holy places and holy moments, but everything else can become holy if only we will it.

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