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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.



56 of the traditional 613 commandments are found in this parashah. These are considered matters of holiness:

  • 224- Fear your father or mother- Leviticus 19:3
  • 86- Do not inquire into idolatry- Leviticus 19:4
  • 90- Do not make an idol for others- Leviticus 19:4
  • 362- Do not eat from that which was left over from an offering- Leviticus 19:8
  • 407- Do not reap the corner left for the poor- Leviticus 19:9
  • 408- To leave gleanings- Leviticus 19:9
  • 409- Do not gather the gleanings- Leviticus 19:9
  • 406- To leave a corner of the field uncut for the poor- Leviticus 19:10
  • 410- To leave the gleanings of a vineyard- Leviticus 19:10
  • 411- Do not gather the gleanings of a vineyard- Leviticus 19:10
  • 412- To leave the unformed clusters of grapes (for the poor)- Leviticus 19:10
  • 413- Do not pick the unformed clusters of grapes- Leviticus 19:10
  • 285- Do not deny possession of something entrusted to you- Leviticus 19:11
  • 286- Do not swear in denial of a monetary claim- Leviticus 19:11
  • 492- Do not steal money stealthily (by lying)- Leviticus 19:11
  • 283- Do not swear falsely in G-d's Name- Leviticus 19:12
  • 499- Do not rob openly- Leviticus 19:13
  • 500- Do not withhold wages or fail to repay a debt- Leviticus 19:13
  • 579- Do not delay payment of wages past the agreed time- Leviticus 19:13
  • 516- Do not put a stumbling block before a blind man (nor give harmful advice)- Leviticus 19:14
  • 551- Do not curse any upstanding Jew- Leviticus 19:14
  • 540- A judge must not have mercy on the poor man at the trial- Leviticus 19:15
  • 541- A judge must not respect the great man at the trial- Leviticus 19:15
  • 543- A judge must not pervert justice- Leviticus 19:15
  • 545- Judge righteously- Leviticus 19:15
  • 83- Do not speak derogatorily of others- Leviticus 19:16
  • 129- Do not stand idly by if someone's life is in danger- Leviticus 19:16
  • 79- Do not hate fellow covenant members- Leviticus 19:17
  • 80- To reprove a neighbor who sins- Leviticus 19:17
  • 81- Do not embarrass others- Leviticus 19:17
  • 77- To love other covenant members- Leviticus 19:18
  • 84- Do not take revenge- Leviticus 19:18
  • 85- Do not bear a grudge- Leviticus 19:18
  • 401- Do not plant diverse seeds together- Leviticus 19:19
  • 403- Do not crossbreed animals- Leviticus 19:19
  • 275- Do not eat fruit of a tree during its first three years- Leviticus 19:23
  • 435- The fourth year crops must be totally for holy purposes like ma'aser sheni- Leviticus 19:24
  • 116- Do not be superstitious- Leviticus 19:26
  • 118- Do not engage in astrology- Leviticus 19:26
  • 135- Men must not shave the hair off the sides of their head- Leviticus 19:27
  • 136- Men must not shave their beards with a razor- Leviticus 19:27
  • 139- Do not tattoo the skin- Leviticus 19:28
  • 14- To show reverence to the Temple- Leviticus 19:30
  • 104- Do not perform ov (inquiring of spirits)- Leviticus 19:31
  • 105- Do not perform yidoni (consulting magicians/seers)- Leviticus 19:31
  • 73- To honor those who teach and know Torah- Leviticus 19:32
  • 495- Do not commit injustice with scales and weights- Leviticus 19:35
  • 494- Each individual must ensure that his scales and weights are accurate- Leviticus 19:36
  • 330- The courts must carry out the death penalty of strangulation- Leviticus 20:10
  • 528- The courts must carry out the death penalty of burning- Leviticus 20:14
  • 115- Do not imitate idolators in customs and clothing- Leviticus 20:23







105 verses that include kedosh (Strong's #6918)




View list of verses on


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Chamishi, 18 Shevat, 5783

Thursday, February 09, 2023


Learn more about this date in history.