This week’s Torah portion Kedoshim has one of my favorite verses – “Kedoshim Tihiyu, ki Kadosh Ani, Adonai Eloheychem”. (Leviticus 19:2) This means, “You shall be (or become) holy, for holy am I, God, your God”. We already are holy since we are part and parcel of God, made in the Divine image. So what might it mean that we shall be or even become holy?
Even though we are in essence holy, sometimes we forget it or don’t believe it. So I read this verse as a potential for remembering and re-awakening our holiness. It is as if the Torah is telling us that one way we can reconnect with our inner holiness is to connect with the holiness of God. In connecting with God, we recharge with God’s primal goodness and holiness and it re-awakens and re-enlivens the God-spark inside of ourselves.
There are so many ways to tune into God, recharge and remember our inner holiness. You probably have your own. Some ways I enjoy are meditating, being in nature and consciously connecting to the earth and beauty around me, and praying. Sometimes it’s easier, and can be quite powerful, to connect to God in a group setting. In the Talmud we learn that in addition to the Shechinah (the feminine aspect of God) dwelling within each of us, whenever ten are gathered for prayer, She rests there as well. This is part of the reason Jewish tradition emphasizes praying communally.
May we be blessed to continually be aware of our inextricable connection to the Divine Mystery, and how Her holiness lives within us.
I am a Rabbinic Pastor in the Jewish Renewal tradition who brings a light-filled and joyful Judaism to others who want to experience the best that Jewish spirituality has to offer.