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קדשׁים - "Holy Ones"

Weekly parashah #30: Kedoshim

  • Torah: Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:1-20:27
  • Haftarah:
    • Amos 9:7-15 (Ashkenaz)
    • Ezekiel (Yechezk'el) 20:2-20 (Sefard)
  • Greek Scriptures: Luke 16-17
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Leviticus 19:1-2

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your G-d am holy.

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The Hebrew Word

The name of this week's parashah comes from the Hebrew word kedosh (Strong's #6918) which means "sacred" or "holy". It is used 169 times in 105 verses in the Tanakh.

First use in Scripture

The first time kedosh is used in Scripture is in Exodus 19:6.

Exodus 19:6

And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."


Last use in Scripture

The last time kedosh is used in Scripture is in Zechariah 14:5.

Zechariah 14:5

You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!


Parashah Outline

Matters of Holiness-

  • Idolatry Forbidden - Leviticus 19:1
  • Sundry Laws - Leviticus 19:9
  • Human Sacrifice and Immoralities - Leviticus 20:1


Portraits of Messiah


Verse by Verse Notes


Other Observations


Many man-made religions come up with complex formulas or ceremonies to provide the impression of holiness. The Creator of the universe, however, has simpler, more practical standards for His people, Israel. For example, one of the commandments given in this parashah regarding holiness is this:

Leviticus 19:23-25

When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD. In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am the LORD your God.


There is no other reason required... it is holy because G-d has declared it to be.

A reasonable question given this type of commandment for matters of holiness would be "why?" Why is the fruit of trees holy for the first three years? G-d provides a simple and entirely satisfactory answer:

Because He is YHVH our G-d.

There is no other reason required... it is holy because G-d has declared it to be.


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Sheni, 24 Adar I, 5784

Monday, March 04, 2024


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