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Friday, May 6

The Weekly Shtikle - Kedoshim

A triple Weekly Shtikle mazal tov, in chronological order: to my niece Rikki and her husband Daniel Ash on the birth of their son, Reuven Pinchas Alexander, my nephew Yeshaya Shonek and his wife Tzippora Leah, on the birth of their daughter Chaya Sara (named after my Oma) and finally, my nephew Avi Bulka on his very recent engagement to Mikayla Shkedy of Houston. Mazal Tov to the extended Bulka, Shonek and Hook mishpachos!

The following shtikle is of particular significance to me. A year ago, my father was hospitalized with an infection and I drove up to spend the day. During my visit he relayed this beautiful thought to me, one that also perfectly summarized the way my father, a"h, lived his life. If I recall correctly, this was the last devar Torah I heard from my father. Naturally, it is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.

While this parsha contains many individual mitzvos it begins with a general command, "kedoshim tihyu." The Midrash Rabbah in parshas Mikeitz (90:2)  states, "This pasuk may have been construed to mean that you should be as holy as I, HaShem, until it says at the end of the pasuk 'ki Kadosh Ani,' for I am holy. My holiness is above yours." This is a very difficult suggestion to understand. How would even the most foolish of men begin to think that the holiness of man could reach that of HaShem's? (We have previously discussed an approach from R' Tzvi Pesach Frank.)

My father explains that this discussion does not necessarily revolve around actual levels of holiness but rather, how the whole idea is to be interpreted. HaShem's holiness, far beyond our reach, is a status, a state of being. For us mortals, we must understand that kedushah represents a goal, a target. It is something we must always work towards. But we must understand that it is nothing we can achieve, per se, for if we did, there would be nothing left to accomplish. It is a guiding principle which is meant to define our everyday service of HaShem through Torah and mitzvos. While HaShem's holiness is absolute, ours is a goal we must always strive toward, all the while knowing that the journey will never be done.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: A Revealing Note
Dikdukian: Sukas David

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