• Guest Contributor

We Are Holy Human Beings

“Who are holy beings? They are beloved, clear of mind, and courageous. Raising their voices in constant gratitude. They marvel at every detail of life. Granting each other loving permission to be exactly who they are. When we listen for their sweet voices, we can hear the echo within our own souls.”

— Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg

This week we are in the Torah Portion Acharei - Kedoshim. It’s a double portion, and we are going to focus our attention on the second half Kedoshim - The Holy Ones. This week’s Torah contains a blueprint for how we, as a society, should aspire to behave and live; it’s often called the Holiness Code. 

וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר

 קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָ֥ה

God spoke to Moses, saying: speak to the people and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, your God am holy. 

In these texts, God is telling us that we are holy beings, and we are meant to be compassionate human beings. God is teaching us to Judge others fairly, to not hate our neighbors in our hearts, to observe God’s laws and the famous climax of this portion is something I pray every morning it’s often called the golden rule:

וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹך

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 

The language in this Torah portion speaks of being holy in ways that we can still find relevant today. The Torah is telling us that anyone can live a holy life if we remember to stop judging, to offer compassion, and to love our neighbor as we would love ourselves. Being holy is not reserved for hermits, monks, gurus, and rabbis but for all of us.

How are you striving to live a holy life?

Rabbi Sandra Lawson received ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 2018. She has served in the United States Army as a Military Police person with a specialty in Military Police Investigations, specializing in cases involving child abuse and domestic violence. Rabbi Sandra uses her rabbinic training to bring Judaism to where people already are in their lives. As a rabbinical student Rabbi Sandra received a prestigious grant to lead Shabbat services for unaffiliated Jews in a vegan cafe. She also received a grant to launch her podcast Minutes of Torah. Her vision as a Rabbi is to help build a more inclusive Jewish community where all who want to come are welcomed, diversity is embraced and we can come together to learn and to pray. 

Contact: slawson7@elon.edu

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