Friday, May 10, 2024

Kedoshim - Reading #6

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #6: Leviticus 20:8–22

My Thoughts:

Once again, Hashem is giving us some commands about avoiding sexual sin and exactly what sexual sin is. Some of the offenses have the death penalty as punishment. I think about how far we have strayed from these commandments. I was talking to a friend who was telling me how she stayed up and watched a movie last night. One that had some pretty brazen sex scenes. I asked her why she didn’t turn it off. And she just replied, “I knew it was wrong, but I tried to overlook the scenes because I wanted to know how it was going to turn out.” I could tell she did not feel very content or good about her decision. This is what all of us do. We “dabble” with sexual sin with movies, books, websites, conversation – and then we give what we think is a great “excuse” for our behavior. Well, according to today’s Torah portion reading, there is no excuse that Hashem tolerates. I would like to believe that repentance and teshuvah plays into all of this. I really hope so. And I hope we learn to obey Hashem and His commandments and take them more seriously. Amen.


I find verse 27 to be quite curious, “‘You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My ordinances, and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.” What does Hashem mean that the land will vomit out the sinner? Some commentators believe that the land will actually (and has) rebel against a nation who sins. This may happen through natural catastrophe and/or lack of productivity in the land. And if you think about it this makes sense. If you are abusing Hashem’s laws, and not following Him - then we are likely not to be taking very good care of others things in our life – including the land. If we don’t respect Hashem our creator, then maybe we are not respecting His creation either. I look at the side of the road sometimes and all the trash and wonder why people are so careless. My challenge to you today is to think about taking better care of our land. Whatever community you live in. Pick up garbage when you walk by it and tend to your personal gardens or community gardens with care. And most importantly – follow Hashem and His commands more diligently. Maybe the result of this would be a more prosperous land and community! Instead of being “vomited” from not taking care of it!

Reading #6 - Leviticus 20:8–22

Leviticus 8 You shall keep My statutes, and do them. I am Hashem who sanctifies you.

9 “‘For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon himself.

10 “‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

11 “‘The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness. Both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon themselves.

12 “‘If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed a perversion. Their blood shall be upon themselves.

13 “‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon themselves.

14 “‘If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.

15 “‘If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall kill the animal.

16 “‘If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

17 “‘If a man takes his sister—his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter—and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a shameful thing. They shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his iniquity.

18 “‘If a man lies with a woman having her monthly period, and uncovers her nakedness, he has made her fountain naked, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

19 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, nor of your father’s sister, for he has made his close relative naked. They shall bear their iniquity. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness. They shall bear their sin. They shall die childless.

21 “‘If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an impurity. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless.

22 “‘You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My ordinances, and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.