Shabbat Kedoshim

Mevarchin Rosh Hodesh Iyaar (Wednesday & Thursday)

Candles Friday 7:26pm
Havdalah Saturday 8.22pm

This week’s reading is the most significant in all the Torah for those who want to see Judaism as an ethical system. Here are some of the ethical laws we will read:

Don’t steal, deceive or lie.

Don’t oppress or rob your neighbor.

Don’t delay paying your worker’s wages.

Consider the needs of the poor.

Don’t curse a deaf person or put an obstacle in the way of the blind.

Don’t hate your neighbor in your heart.

Don’t take vengeance or bear grudges.

In justice favor neither the poor nor the rich, but follow the law.

Love your neighbor as you would yourself.

Yes, I think we would all agree that these are good moral teachings and we should abide by them. Most of us consider them more important than the ritual laws and customs, and yet the fact is that those who ignore one often tend to ignore the other.

I intentionally left out of this list another law that comes in the middle:

Do not tell tales about people or stand by when someone else is in danger.

We all hear every day of examples of people not going to help others, and I am pretty sure that most of us indulge in gossip to some extent every day. Why do we disregard these very important laws if we all agree that ethical rules are so important? Is it habit? A failure of education? Or perhaps that once we decide we will only do what we feel like doing, it’s a slippery slope!!!