Parsha: Kedoshim: Leviticus 19:1-20:27, Ezekiel 20:2-20, Matthew 5:33-37

To our 9:00 am Shabbat Ark of Prayer and the Mishpacha within,

This week’s parsha is Kedoshim: Leviticus 19:1-20:27, Ezekiel 20:2-20, Matthew 5:33-37.

G-d has commanded us to be holy … to be set apart and recognizable as such to the wider world. So how would anyone tell we are holy?

One of the ways to show it is to keep our side of the street clean even if there is a personal cost.

Yesterday a peer got, what felt to me like, an unexpected and undeserved spank from a superior related to an information inquiry I made to the superior. My first impulse was not to deal with it because it was potentially embarrassing and could also cause more trouble. But letting it go would have left me uncomfortable with all parties involved. 

So I made a point to ask my my peer about it so I could apologize and take corrective action with my superior as needed. As it turned out, my peer did not have a problem with it which left me feeling clear with all the relationships.

We all know that words are cheap and actions speak louder than words.

In this passage in Leviticus, G-d speaks almost exclusively about actions. The only time he speaks of feelings (Lev 19:17), I believe, is because nursing hatred rapidly leads to very bad actions. And nowhere does He talk about talk.

So we see G-d listing many actions, some prohibited and some commanded, which define the actions of someone set apart.

G-d clearly shows here and throughout the Bible that He cares deeply about those among us with physical, emotional, and spiritual problems and injuries. With the heart of G-d we will also show our concern for others through our actions.

To live successfully as a life set apart, demands honesty in both word and deed. Dishonesty and misrepresentation lead to suspicion, mistrust, and hatred, ultimately destroying our relationships. This is why G-d views gossip and persistent negative talk about others so harshly.

Our relationships grow and thrive only if we are willing to tell the truth; the only basis for trust between us. When there is honesty in our relationship, we can confidently look to others for help.

I believe my role in life is to be of maximum service to G-d and to those around me. This requires that I be vigilant, available and willing.

I hope we will all do what it takes to protect our relationships at TAJ and our relationships with all those whom we touch through a willingness to lovingly promote Biblical values and actions.

As it says in Leviticus 19, 16 “‘Do not go around spreading slander among your people, but also don’t stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake; I am ADONAI. 17 “‘Do not hate your brother in your heart, but rebuke your neighbor frankly, so that you won’t carry sin because of him. 18 Don’t take vengeance on or bear a grudge against any of your people; rather, love your neighbor as yourself; I am ADONAI.

Blessings to you and yours. Be joyful in your prayer this week.

I hope to see you at our Shabbat prayer session this weekend.

Your brother in Yeshua in the TEVA TEFILAH,


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