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Shabbat shalom.
This portion of scripture, from Leviticus 19:1 through 20:27 seems to randomly repeat the commandments that G-d gave to Moses on Sinai.  The first one mentioned is interesting, especially to those of us who are parents.  In verse three, the injunction to revere your Mother and Father even precedes the instruction to observe G-d's Sabbaths!  As a father of five, I love this!!!

But seriously folks, the intention of the entire passage is found in the very opening words.  "Then the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ' You shall be holy, for I the L-rd your G-d am holy.''"   This commandment has been tossed around and ignored for so many years and has been so weakened by well-meaning teachers that it is largely ignored.  We have been told that only G-d is holy, so we can only "do our best" to be like Him.  But the word of G-d says that we are created in His image; and here, He instructs us to act like it!

The remainder of this passage details ways in which we should show ourselves to be holy.  Basically, it is rather simple.  If we obey the commandments of G-d, given to us in His Torah, we walk in holiness.  if we ignore them, we do not.  Leviticus 20: 26 sums it up this way, "'Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the L-rd am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine."  We are to be different from those around us; and they should be able to tell that we are different.  We are to live in such a way that the character of G-d is demonstrated to all with whom we have contact.

This is the lesson that G-d has given to us on this, the first week after Passover.  This is the first Sabbath of the counting of the Omer, which began last Sunday.  In Leviticus 23: 15 & 16, we read, "You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the L-rd."  We will study this more fully next week, when we get to this portion of the Torah, but for now, you should know that it is going on and that it is a time of anticipation for the Feast of Pentecost.  We are living in a time of anticipation and in order not to miss what G-d is preparing to do in the world, we must be holy, even as He is holy.

Prepare yourself for the coming of the instruction of the L-rd and for His Holy Spirit which will lead you into all truth.

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