Friday, May 6, 2022

Kedoshim - Reading #6

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

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

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.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Kedoshim - Reading #5

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #5 -  Leviticus 20:1–7

My Thoughts:

Again we are learning about Hashem’s extreme disregard for child sacrifice. The penalties for this are death itself to the person committing the crime. So, what has changed if we look at today? We “sacrifice” pre-born babies (children) to the gods of convenience, selfishness, fear, abuse, economics, etc. through abortion. Our country (the United States) and other countries (even Israel) have been torn apart regarding this controversial issue of life. But, why is it controversial? Why do people defend the right to “choice” – the legal right to abort (kill) your developing baby? I’m afraid the root of all this is very deep. And the consequences go far and wide. If you have had an abortion or helped someone to get one, now is the time to go earnestly before Hashem to ask for forgiveness. From my understanding, He will forgive you. And then make a strong effort to support women around you who do get pregnant unexpectedly – help them not to make the same mistake. It’s time for all of us to change and get on Hashem’s path of life. Amen.


Again we learn about not following or seeking mediums and wizards. Here is the question I have about this. If we watch shows about magic, mediums, the darker side of the world – is that disobedience? We may not be performing the task, but we are watching someone else do so. And when you watch a movie/TV show – aren’t you participating in this somehow? If you buy products, games, and apparel that are produced by companies that promote magic (mediums, wizards, etc.) – isn’t that the same as participating in the act itself? We all need to take a hard look at what we do with magic. We need to repent, turn away and change. Today.

20:1 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, ‘Anyone of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners in Israel, who gives any of his offspring to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone that person with stones. 3 I also will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given of his offspring to Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane My holy name. 4 If the people of the land all hide their eyes from that person when he gives of his offspring to Molech, and don’t put him to death, 5 then I will set my face against that man and against his family, and will cut him off, and all who play the prostitute after him to play the prostitute with Molech, from among their people.

6 “‘The person that turns to those who are mediums and wizards, to play the prostitute after them, I will even set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.

7 “‘Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am Hashem your Adonai.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Kedoshim - Reading #4

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #4 - Leviticus 19:33–37

My Thoughts:

Verse 33 we learn that Hashem is believing that a stranger that lives as a foreigner is to be the same as a fellow Jew. This is the most amazing thing about Hashem – He loves us all. He loves His chosen people, the Jews, and He loves those who are not Jews. He wants them all to join together and be as one. He loves community and unity. Can we please remember this? He has a special place in His heart for all of us, whether Jew or non-Jew. And someday we will see this for real. In the Olam Haba (world to come) we will all be bowing our knees to the King of Kings. Serving and worshiping the one true Elohim. Amen!


In verse 35 we learn about balances and weights and keeping honest. If your butcher asked you how much the steak you were buying weighed (and trusted you) and you told him a lesser weight to get a deal – then you would be in violation of this commandment. But, at the heart of this commandment is being “fair” in all things. Are you “cheating” anyone, on anything? Examine your heart about this. It could be in your words or in your deeds. It could be materially or non-materially. Make sure you are being truthful and honest. Giving people what they deserve. A simple example of this would be when you tip a waiter/waitress. Give her/him what they are worth. Do not come up short and walk away. This is the challenge.

19:33 “‘If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Hashem your Adonai..

35 “‘You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin. I am Hashem your Adonai, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

37 “‘You shall observe all my statutes and all my ordinances, and do them. I am Hashem.’”

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Kedoshim - Reading #3

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #3 - Leviticus 19:23–32

My Thoughts:

Today’s reading is quite interesting. We have commands not to practice sorcery, nor consult wizards or mediums (verses 26 and 31). I remember my sister a few years ago was consulting a medium. She said she wasn’t really that interested but her daughter was bringing her there and encouraging her to go. I explained to her that G-d has a commandment about mediums and to go to one was a sin. She acted really surprised and to my amazement said, “Well, I guess if it’s a sin I won’t go anymore.” And to my knowledge she never has. Standing up for Hashem’s commands is really important. Sometimes people just don’t know. It can be “life-saving”!


One year, not too long ago, my husband planted a cherry tree in our backyard. I told him about this commandment and he wasn’t sure it “applied” to us. But, interesting enough, this cherry tree took about five years to blossom and produce fruit. I thought that was pretty interesting. It’s like nature obeys Hashem before we do! He is the creator and all of creation knows Him! So, here’s my challenge today. If you are planting a fruit tree – plan to wait five years before eating its fruit! Be patient and obey. Amen.

19:23 “‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden.  For three years it shall be forbidden to you. It shall not be eaten. 24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, for giving praise to Hashem. 25 In the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield its increase to you. I am Hashem your Adonai.

26 “‘You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it. You shall not use enchantments, nor practice sorcery.

27 “‘You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your head or clip off the edge of your beard.

28 “‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Hashem.

29 “‘Don’t profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness.

30 “‘You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary; I am Hashem.

31 “‘Don’t turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am Hashem your Adonai.

32 “‘You shall rise up before the gray head and honor the face of the elderly; and you shall fear your Elohim. I am Hashem.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Kedoshim - Reading #2

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #2 — Leviticus 19:15–22

My Thoughts:

Looking at today’s commands, verse 16 stands out to me “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people.” This is speaking about gossip. You may think you do not gossip about people. But, even bringing up someone and what they did can be gossiping. Be very careful about what you say to people about other people. You may think you are just figuring out some problem, if so bring that problem to Hashem. Yes, you should have a prayer partner or spouse that you share things with. But, other than that we must watch what we say to others. It can easily become slander. Right?


Verse 17 and the second most important commandment - “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The first being to love Hashem with all your heart, soul and strength (the Shema). Just think what a changed and wonderful world we would have if everyone followed these two commands! And to love your neighbor means even if they are unpleasant, or have hurt you. Forgive them, pray for them and love them. We are to love our enemies and pray for them. Guaranteed this will make the world such a better place. Start doing this today. Pray and ask Hashem who your neighbor is and how you are to treat them. Do special things. Love them, unconditionally. Amen.

19:15 “‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness.

16 “‘You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people.

“‘You shall not endanger the life of your neighbor. I am Hashem.

17 “‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

18 “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Hashem.

19 “‘You shall keep my statutes.

“‘You shall not cross-breed different kinds of animals.

“‘You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed;

“‘Don’t wear a garment made of two kinds of material.

20 “‘If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21 He shall bring his trespass offering to Hashem, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22 The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before Hashem for his sin which he has committed; and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Kedoshim - Reading #1

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Reading #1 — Leviticus 19:1–14

My Thoughts:

Hashem starts this section with “Be holy, for I am holy.” Then He explains how to be holy. If we follow His commands – we will grow to be holy. You may be thinking that it is impossible to be holy. But, it’s not. It’s just what He wants from us because He wants us to be the best that we can be. And if you are loving Him with everything you have, and you are loving others – well then, you are on your way to holiness!


These commandments are pretty simple. There is nothing hard or difficult to understand about them. Respect your parents, honor the Sabbath, don’t lie, steal, take care of your neighbor, etc. You may be thinking that you do all these things. But, I challenge you today to really take a hard look at your life and see if indeed you are doing these things. Are you really keeping the Sabbath, or do you excuse some small things on that special day believing that Hashem will forgive you. Or do you really respect your parents or are you complaining that you have to do so much for them? Are you taking care of the poor or are you spending your money on frivolous items instead? Review your life and change what needs to be changed. And I will do the same. Amen.

19:1 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘You shall be holy; for I, Hashem your Elohim, am holy.

3 “‘Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep my Sabbaths. I am Hashem your Elohim.

4 “‘Don’t turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am Hashem your Elohim.

5 “‘When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Hashem, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. If anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned with fire. 7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It will not be accepted; 8 but everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the holy thing of Hashem, and that soul shall be cut off from his people.

9 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Hashem your Elohim.

11 “‘You shall not steal.

“‘You shall not lie.

“‘You shall not deceive one another.

12 “‘You shall not swear by My name falsely, and profane the name of your Elohim. I am Hashem.

13 “‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him.

“‘The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.

14 “‘You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your Elohim. I am Hashem.

Kedoshim - Week #9

Kedoshim - Holy  קְדשִׁים

Torah Portion: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15

Apostolic Scripture: Mark 12:28-34

1.1 First reading — Leviticus 19:1–14

1.2 Second reading — Leviticus 19:15–22

1.3 Third reading — Leviticus 19:23–32

1.4 Fourth reading — Leviticus 19:33–37

1.5 Fifth reading — Leviticus 20:1–7

1.6 Sixth reading — Leviticus 20:8–22