These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

קדשים, kedoshim

Posted on April 30, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

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in parshat kedoshim, God opens by instructing us we’ve got to be holy because we’ve got a holy God.  and in case you weren’t sure how one goes about behaving in a holy manner, we’re presented with a pretty length lists of do’s and don’ts.  do honor your mother and father.  don’t commit adultery.   do deal honestly with others.  don’t turn to ghosts for divinations.  okay, that makes sense.  what makes less sense is why after the majority of the do’s and dont’s, God adds either “I am the Lord” or the more emphatic “I am the Lord, your God.” as if we might have forgotten this hugely important detail from a few lines back.

it is so easy to go about our daily interactions, taking little note of the presence of God.  at least for me, i tend to see just what’s in front of me, meaning the material world around me.  and despite my best intentions to continually bring God into my life through blessings and mitzvot, i imagine the amount of time i successfully manage to keep God at the forefront of my thought, present in all of my actions, is embarrassingly small.  so while in text, being reminded every five lines of God’s godliness may seems excessive, in reality, a five-minute reminder might prove to be quite useful in my life.  i imagine if just one day i thought about God after my coffee, before my shower, after my walk to school, my holiness quotient would skyrocket.

mantra to repeat,
between the mundanity,
You’re the Lord, my God.

may the most mundane cup of coffee be an opportunity for holiness,