Parsha of the week

Kedoshim (the holiness code)

Leviticus 19:1-20:27

* Kedoshim begins with the statement: "You shall be holy, for I, your God, am holy." This is followed by dozens of mitzvot (divine commandments) through which the Jew sanctifies him or herself and relates to the holiness of God.

* Lists of these mitzvot: prohibition against idolatry, the mitzvah of charity, the principle of equality before the law, Shabbat, sexual morality, honesty in business, honor and awe of one's parents, and the sacredness of life.

* Within Kedoshim is the dictum which the great sage Rabbi Akiva (who we will read about in the book The Orchard by Yochi Brandeis this summer) called a cardinal principle of Torah, and of which Hillel said, "This is the entire Torah, the rest is commentary" and "Love your fellow as yourself."

In this portion is the verse that is quoted saying that homosexuality is a sin against God. My good friend and colleague, Rabbi Michael Latz of Minneapolis, who I went to Israel with a couple of years ago, addressed this issue with scholarship, heart and dedication at a Bat Mitzvah at his synagogue last week. I invite you to see his response, and I would love to continue the discussion about this anytime: https://bit.ly/2PSkHNR

Rabbi Robbi