The beginning of this weeks parsha opens with GOD’s command to Moshe not to just speak to Bnei Yisrael but to the entire congregation of Bnei Yisrael and to command them to be Holy just as GOD is holy (Vayikra 19:1-2 paraphrased). Many commentators and especially Chassidish commentators on the Torah such as the Shem Meshmuel and The Slonimer Rebbe in his Netivot Shalom on the Parsha (Vol. Sefer Vayikra first piece on Parshat Kedoshim) learn from this verse the following lesson. That it is specifically when Bnei Yisrael are together as a people that we can achieve holiness.

This is an important lesson especially for the time period we currently find ourselves in  the period of the counting of the Omer where for part of it we mourn over the loss of Rabi Akivas thousands of students. The Talmud explains the reason for why these students died is because they did not give respect towards one another. According to many commentators what the Talmud means by they did not have respect for one another means they did not respect each other’s opinions regarding different Torah ideas.

It is therefore important for us to realize that all Jews are united to make up our people that we are all holy and only together can we achieve high levels of holiness.

May thinking and acting in this way help unite the Jewish people as a whole and bring us towards the days of Moschiach may he come soon.

Good Shabbos, Shabbat  Shalom, Gut Shabbes-Gidon Herschander