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Moses appointed twelve emissaries to scout out the Holy Land and return with a report. The representative for the tribe of Ephraim was Moses’ primary disciple, Joshua. Until this time, the lad’s name was Oshua. But Moses added a letter to his name and called him Joshua.
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Home » Acharei Mot, K'doshim

Acharei Mot K’doshim: Journey of Sanctification

Submitted by on April 23, 2006 – 10:06 amNo Comment | 4,027 views

A Mixed Message

This week we read a double Parsha Acharei Mot and K’doshim. The first Parsha is a description of the Kohen Gadol, holiest Jew in the nation, in the Kodesh Hakadashim (Holy of Holies), holiest place in the world, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year.

The transcendental experience of entering G-d’s inner sanctum and meriting a private moment of worship must have seemed the ultimate religious experience. Yet the next Parsha begins with the instruction, “Holy shall you be for I am holy,” as if only now do we embark on a course towards holiness.

It’s Never Enough

This underscores a double message. On the one hand the greatest Ttzadik may never assume that he has completed his task and can now relax. Having reached the pinnacle of devotion one must set one’s sights ever higher and begin anew because life is nothing, but a journey of sanctification.

It’s Never Too much

On the other hand, the Parsha of Kedoshim outlines the path to holiness through many civil and ethical laws such as honesty, tolerance, charity etc. These laws don’t require a great degree of piety to fulfill yet
they lead to a sanctity that supersedes even that of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy of Holies!

Indeed sanctity is not the domain of a select few but the inheritance of every Jew.

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