Holiness Code per Book of Leviticus

With more than 40 years on the pulpit and in service as a rabbi, Leib Tropper established the Kol Yaakov Yeshiva and Torah Center in Monsey, New York. In addition, through his articles and lectures Leib Tropper encourages secular Jews to embrace a life devoted to faith and the observance of Hebrew traditions.

The book of Leviticus instructs readers, “You Shall be Holy, for I the Lord am Holy.” Although many Jews believe that this statement refers primarily to those of the Hebrew faith, G*d expects all men and women to endeavor to lead holy lives. Rather than distancing Jews from others, this directive extends to all of humanity; moreover, it requires those who seek to obey His word to strive to perform acts that benefit as many people as possible, instead of merely seeking responses to their own needs.

The very nature of man ensures that our immediate wishes tend to reflect our own comforts and enjoyments. G*d, however, exists in realms that human beings can never effectively comprehend. As such, his holiness encompasses actions, thoughts, and ideals that men and women probably will not understand. Divine holiness and human holiness differ radically, but people who want to live a holy life nevertheless enjoy the opportunity to strive for this objective through compassionate, ethical, tolerant, and generous actions and thoughts toward others. The bounty of the world indicates that G*d’s nature entails giving, so giving is the goal to which humans should aspire. The Dalai Lama once commented that the lessons learned by Tibetans during periods of oppression by the Chinese served as a great test of faith because the Chinese actions necessitated compassion and patience by the Tibetans. This wise statement offers significant promise for people of all faiths, because giving of oneself enables a religious person or an ethical person the chance to become holy.

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