Messianic Torah Portion Kedoshim Holy


Kedoshim Holy

Vayikra(Leviticus) 19:1- 20:27

HaShem wants all believers to become Holy and to emulate Him. However, the vanity and self-righteousness that can accompany our quest for Holiness is hard to overcome. The only way to avoid the temptations of vanity and self-righteousness is to rely on the Ruach HaKodesh. The Ruach HaKodesh perfects Holiness in us, while teaching us humility. Humility allows us to recognize that our Holiness comes from HaShem, and not from our deeds. In other words, Holiness perfected in the image of Yeshua requires us to keep the commandments of God while giving the Glory to HaShem. To accomplish this our hearts must be changed from selfish to selfless. HaShem has empowered us with the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh to change our hearts. As a result, we are transformed into individuals that are created in His image. Ephesians 1:4 states “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” We were created in His image to be Holy because He loves us. Holiness for His glory is one way we can return His love. In Vayikra 19:2 Hashem makes it clear that He wants to see a transformation in his people when He states “be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” HaShem sets His people apart so we can become a Holy nation and love Him in return. We must learn from the Ruach HaKodesh to accomplish this goal. In Kedoshim HaShem teaches us that accomplishing the goal requires a Holiness that is fruitful, vigilant, and Godly.

Vayikra 19:23 states “when you shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.” When the children of Yisrael entered into the land HaShem promised, they were not coming into a land that was perfect. The fruit that the land produced was not acceptable. In fact, the fruit was so tainted that HaShem commanded the children of Yisrael to consider it uncircumcised. The first fruit that the land produced was unclean. HaShem considered the fruit unworthy of consumption. HaShem had brought the children of Yisrael into a land that had been corrupted by idolatry. Therefore, the land needed to heal before it became acceptable. The first three years HaShem allowed the fruit of the land to grow without intervention and without being harvested. In the fourth year the fruit was sanctified, and it became holy. Therefore, from the fourth year and after the land only produced Holy fruit. Becoming a holy nation is similar to the fruit of the Promised Land. We began as unclean. The first fruit we produce is not holy. However, when the Ruach HaKodesh dwells within us we are transformed into holy people. The process takes time. Therefore, HaShem allows us to grow on our own and change over time. HaShem expects us to mature during this period of growth. As we mature we learn to become obedient children by doing the will of HaShem. As a result, we began to produce fruit that is holy because we are serving HaShem.

To be a holy nation we must also be vigilant. Vayikra 19:16 states “You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people” We must be vigilant over what we speak. HaShem commands his people to not contribute to slander. When a believer partakes in slander the believer damages his or her relationship with the Ruach HaKodesh by desensitizing his or her heart against hearing HaShem. Slander grieves the spirit because slander is a direct defamation of the character of an individual who is created in the image of HaShem. Slander also creates barriers between believers within the community. Individuals begin to mistrust each other. In fact, slander is so dangerous to the whole body that James 3:6 states “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of life; and it is set on fire of hell.” The tongue can lead us into transgressions that can disrupt our life and defile the body of HaShem. As a result, slander prevents us from becoming the holy nation that He intends for us to be. As believers we should also learn to be vigilant in how we uncovering sin. Vayikra 19:17 in the Complete Jewish Bible states “rebuke your neighbor frankly, so that you won’t carry sin because of him.” Correcting our neighbors allow all believers to share the responsibility of sin equally. When neighbors are in sin, we must make them aware of their sin. We are bringing our neighbor into accountability. As a result, he or she is given the opportunity to repent. As a result neighbors are looking out for each and eliminating sin from the community. Therefore, the believing community becomes holy and no hidden sin exists that effects the communities relationship with HaShem.

Finally to become the holy nation that HaShem desires we must put HaShem first. Vayikra 19:4 states “Do not turn to idols, or make for yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.” For a holy nation to develop, HaShem’s people should be distinguished from the rest of the world by our desire to freely serve HaShem. When we put HaShem first we become holy because we lay down our self-will and stubbornness. Therefore, others can see we are totally dedicated to serving HaShem. As a result, we become HaShem’s light to the world. We display HaShem’s holiness to others in a world of darkness. In other words, when other nations see our actions, they also see HaShem.

HaShem has empowered His people to become a holy nation. However, holiness is process that takes time. To become the holy nation HaShem wants we must stay on track and be fruitful, vigilant, and Godly. Without striving to maintain these three aspects of holiness we can become vain and self-righteous. As a result, we are then unable to fully present a complete picture of HaShem to the world. We should rely on the Ruach HaKodesh to perfect the work in us. We are called to display a perfect picture of HaShem’s holiness to the world. However, we can not accomplish our calling unless we mature by being fruitful, vigilant, and Godly.

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By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef ­

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