As Holy as God?

God tells Moses: “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2) This verse clearly sounds like a command; but some leading scholars believe that it is not a commandment for itself. It is, rather, the mission statement of the Jewish faith.

Before we examine this verse let’s read the Midrash: Continue reading “As Holy as God?”

In thy mouth and in thy heart…

One of the foundations of the Jewish faith is the commandment of repentance. In fact, our sages teach that repentance is so great that it preceded the creation of the universe (Tanchuma Naso 11). This statement clearly implies that repentance is a prerequisite for the existence of the world; otherwise, it could have waited until after creation. Indeed, it did not take long for man to appreciate the urgency of repentance, for just a few hours after creation, he disobeyed the only commandment he was given. Continue reading “In thy mouth and in thy heart…”