parasha Kedoshim 5782

parasha Kedoshim 5782 – Honest Weights and Measures

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.” – Leviticus 19:35, JPS 1917 Tanach

Regarding the opening verse of parasha Kedoshim, “You shall be holy, because H’Shem your Gd is holy,” this verse serves as a guiding principle, that continues to be expounded upon throughout the rest of the parasha. The principle of holiness is applied even to what might otherwise be considered as the mundane affairs of mankind. For example, the Torah calls for “equal weights and measures.” Although, we are not all merchants, called to right business practices, this specific commandment may be gleaned by the intellect through a symbolic rendering.

In regard to the positive character trait of honesty, an honest person will not try to cheat or disparage others in any manner. When measuring up to others greater than us, let us not rob the other of their status, by demeaning them. Nor, shall a person of integrity make himself out to be better than one actually is, by stacking the weights to his advantage, making it appear that he has more positive qualities than in actuality. Rather, let us make an honest assessment of both are positive negative qualities and attempt to improve ourselves altogether.

Ultimately, we will be judged by G-d Above, at the time of Judgment, so that it would be better to judge ourselves of our own accord today, tomorrow, and the next day, on a continual basis, so that we may repent and change for the better through teshuvah (turning towards G-d). In this manner, we should not have any sins left unrepented; therefore, our judgment will be lighter. Let us seek to be forgiven by H’Shem’s (the L-rd’s) provision for our atonement. For the means for teshuvah (repentance) was formulated even before the world came into existence. Amein. Shabbat shalom.

“Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them alike are abomination to the L-RD.” – Proverbs 20:10, JPS 1917 Tanach

The Wise-Hearted

“And all the wise in heart made the Tabernacle.”

– Targum on Exodus 36:8

According to Maimonides, although scripture does not specifically state so, Moses related to the builders of the tabernacle, everything in its prescribed order. This gives the impression of a divine blueprint, being explained to the wise-hearted in precise details, according to the order of its intended construction. In light of the creation narrative, bringing order out of chaos, a parallel is also seen here in the building of the Mishkan, that follows the chaotic descent into idolatry at Sinai.

We need to ask ourselves, whether or not our own endeavors are wise-hearted. At a time in history, when chaos seems to prevail, and the world appears to be moving towards dystopia, rather than utopia, we need to make an assessment of our own values. We should focus on the pure unadulterated goodness of G-d’s divine agenda. For, regarding those whose designs are based on a godless blueprint, “do they not err that devise evil? But mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good” (Proverbs 14:22).

The Mishkan (portable tabernacle in the desert) was designed with the inspiration given by G-d’s Spirit, the Ruach Elokim, that imbued Bezalel, the main craftsperson, who built the Mishkan. All the wise in heart contributed. If we would like to contribute to G-d’s overall plan today, then we need to consider what efforts will be required on our part in order to do so. Our commitment to serve G-d with the discernment granted to us from Above is primary. For only G-d is able to bring true order out of chaos, and establish His Kingdom (Malchus HaElokim – the Kingdom of G-d).

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