This week’s Parsha Kedoshim discusses the means of making oneself holy. The question many people ask is: How does one keep themselves holy? And some answer by saying to just follow the Torah’s laws, but this is a misconception.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The Torah provides us with many mitzvot, in fact, a lot of those mitzvot are given in order to make ourselves better people. Famous phrases like “”ואהבתה לרעך כמוך – “Love your neighbor as you do yourself” are mitzvot we were given as the Jewish people to follow, and we’ve accepted these laws possibly without even knowing if it existed with Jewish origin. And those are some things we must surely follow to improve ourselves, but that’s only the surface.
When the Torah tells us to make ourselves holy, it involves us setting boundaries for ourselves. While we are given standards to what’s good and what’s bad, it’s in our best interest to set restrictions within those good standards. Like how people follow a Kashrut of חלב ישראל rather than a plain OU; and there are also who take it upon themselves to refrain from touching women in any sort of manner (called שומר נגיעה) in order to live a pure life.
I urge you to take a look at the day ahead of you and see if there’s anything you could do to strengthen your Judaism. Whether it’s adding a prayer to what you do, refraining from that temptation you are used to following, or just dressing a bit more modest. It all helps in taking the path of Torah and Mitzvot.
By: Yosef Nahon (11th Grade)