Shabbat Kedoshim 5779

It has been said that Parshat Kedoshim, particularly Leviticus 19, is the core of the entire Torah, and that at the heart of that core chapter is the phrase “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (19:18). “Amar Rabbi Akiva: zeh klal gadol baTorah–Rabbi Akiva said that this is a central principle of the Torah.” That being said, we should note that this phrase does not stand alone in the verse. What comes before it? “Lo tikom velo titor et bnei ‘amekha–You shall not take revenge, and you shall not keep on at the children of Israel.”
The Torah here is asking quite a bit from us. How many great literary works have vengeance as a central theme! Doesn’t the Torah itself also mandate the building of cities of refuge to protect an accidental killer from vengeance? And what does “you shall not keep on at” mean? We’ll look at these questions Friday night, since others will be teaching Torah on Lay-Led Shabbat.
As I promised on Wednesday evening at our Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration, you can find the video for the new hit song celebrating Israel here. You can also find my translation, and a list of the Israeli musicians who participated in this wonderful project, by clicking here.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Wise