Parsha Kedoshim 5768: The Jewish Nation – Unity or Protexia?

By Moshe Burt

Parsha Kedoshim is, what baseball fans often refer to as the
“twilight” parsha of the normal Achrai Mos/Kedoshim doubleheader Parshas which are read in the Pesach, post-Pesach period.

One of the main themes underlying Parsha Kedoshim is the loving care
with which each Jew is to treat his Jewish brother. Indeed, we see that the first posuk of our Parsha conveys that spirit, “Hashem spoke to Moshe saying, “Speak to the entire assembly of B’nai Yisrael and say to them: You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem, your G’d.” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posuk 1) Our Parsha then goes on to enumerate the Asseret HaDivrot, the Ten Commandments in depth.

But the spirit of our Parsha is best expressed by the principle taught by Rabbi Hillel to the convert, on one foot, that the entire Torah can be summed up with this one key concept whch says “V’ohavtoh
L’rei’achoh Komochoh” — “… you shall love your fellow as yourself…” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posuk 18); to want for your fellow Jew what you would want for yourself, to not do to your fellow Jew what you would not want to happen to youself.

But sadly, in our times, V’ohavtoh L’rei’achoh Komochoh, more often than not, is lacking amongst B’nai Yisrael, supplanted by “Me”, “Mine”,
“my convenience”, “Me first.” Long gone is a founding precept of modern-day Israel; what happens at your doorstep is like it happened at mine. Long gone is the unity which superseded and outweighed sectorial differences, prejudices and disagreements. Instead, there is disunity, division, senseless hatred and misconception which thus allow the opportunistic political protexia class; the Olmerts, Baraks, Livnis, Ramons, etc. who thrive only on our factionalization and sectorial prejudices, to divide and conquer the Jewish masses through agitating sectors against each other while endangering our very existence on our land through giving away our Divine legacy and birthright — the Land of Israel.

There is a connection between this mido of loving kindness to our brethren and the role of the Kohen Gadol as a unifier and as a national emissary. The Kohen’s very essence is the paradigm of unity and of the concept of “V’ohavtoh L’reiachoh Komochoh” in which we all unify as one.

If the B’nai Yisrael were to only glean from the Kohen, and apply the unity of loving kindness to our brethren, as to ourselves, the Olmerts, Baraks, Livnis would cease to exist. And then we’ll zocha to fulfill our assigned mission, to serve as a light, a model to the nations of Hashem’s blueprint for creation.

May we be zocha in this coming year that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard and the 3 captive Chayalim and the other MIAs be liberated and returned to us and that we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

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