Y-H-V-H spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the whole Israelite community, and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, Y-H-V-H your God, am Holy. (Leviticus 19:1-2)
The Hebrew word kadosh (קדוש), meaning holy, means different, other, set apart. As such, it is an attribute of God, as the one who is completely set apart from creation, the transcendental reality. (more…)
This week’s Torah portion, vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27) is the third parashah devoted to the story of Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son. At this stage of the story, Joseph serves as Pharaoh’s viceroy and is the de-facto ruler of Egypt.
In last week’s Torah portion, Joseph’s brothers, who had previously sold him to slavery and were not yet aware of his rise to power, came to Egypt to collect grain to save themselves from the great famine that took over the region. They were sent to Egypt by their father, Jacob, who kept the youngest of his sons, Benjamin, with him at Canaan. Still traumatized by the loss of Joseph, whom he thought for dead, Jacob did not want to risk the life of Benjamin.