What is Kedusha (קדושה), holiness ?

Holiness. We hear about it. We speak about it. But how do we become Holy like the Holy Spirit?

The original word for Holiness is Kedusha. We learn about Kedusha throughout the Torah but I want to bring up the Torah portion from Netzavim. Netzavim means “we are standing gathered”. In this portion the people of Israel stand before God and Moshe (Moses) to renew their commitment to the Lord.

The Ramban taught that in Netzavim everyone stood before God, ready to be initiated into the divine convenant, as such everyone is treated democratically. So it is the same now at this prophetic moment in time, we the people of Earth stand before God and we must decide what actions we will take to make a better future for all the children.

This Torah portion teaches that there is no monopoly on kedusha (קדושה), holiness. Kedusha belongs to everyone, to the most sophisticated and the most simple, to both men and women, Jew and non-Jew (Midrash Tana D’bei Eliyahu Rabbah 10:1).

Moshe asks the people to look very closely at all the ways that they were living so that they might become completely focused on God-merging. Moshe warned the people once more not to worship idols.

Idol worship means giving power to something other than God as our source. Idol worship includes anything that distracts you from your spiritual life, from knowing God, from deveikut, the direct merging with God. Money, power, sex, ego, pride — all these pull us away from the source and can become idols. So, an idol is not just some graven image or statue. It is something far more profound: what we attach more importance to, consciously or unconsciously, than serving and merging with God.

This is a powerful model and statement of what needs to happen in Israel today, and in the whole world, because no one person, no one nation, no one country, in any way, has any monopoly on holiness or on relationship with God.

God’s covenant is made with the whole world, and it is a universal message that the Torah is teaching at this moment. We also should understand that the whole world, and not just Am Yisrael, will suffer the consequences of not aligning with the universal teachings emerging from the Torah template. We see the manifestation of this today as secular western culture is leading to a culture of degeneracy rejecting God.

Netzavim is very much about redemption and the prophecies leading to redemption of both the Tribes of Am Yisrael and the entire world. For we know that role of Am Yisrael is to elevate the consciousness of the Jewish people to a place of service for God and all of God’s children. The day that Israel turns away from war, focuses itselfs on spiritual growth and development and begins to use all its resources for the restoration of the air, water, and earth; the redemption and the age of Moshiach will be upon us. As Indigenous persons, Am Yisraels’ prophecies match up with ancient prophecies from Indigenous nations around the earth.

In this way, Netzavim lays out the deeper meaning of Teshuvah (תְּשׁוּבָה) or repentance. In Ramban’s teaching, the Jewish people are only redeemed through teshuvah (Mishnah Torah, Hilchot Teshuvah 7:5). Repentance involves more than simply reviewing and righting wrongs. As we say in english, actions speak louder than words. So it is with the same with the act of Teshuvah. To become Holy, we must use our actions for goodness.

Acts of charity ( tzedakah), love (ahava), intense spiritual focus with prayer (tefilah), meditation (hitbodedut), repeating the name of God (higia), and being lived by doing good deeds (mitzvot) and following the laws of Torah (halakhah) also play a powerful redemptive role. This is about each individual engaging in a relationship with the creator. That is what becomes the source of one’s personal holiness.

To have a heart of Kedusha means to let go of all your lusts and cravings. This is about the spiritual revolution that will take place in the messianic times. We enter now as a human family into the final battle between the yetzer tov (good) and the yetzer hara (evil). Good and evil are a free will choice. Every soul is allowed to choose their parth as part of the evolutionary process of the soul and Ehyah Asher Ehyah (I the Eternal One). The choices today echo in eternity. I pray we can all make good choices so that all beings may be happy, healthy and free. I pray that we can choose goodness and that we can live with hearts full of kedusha in alignment with El-Shaddai (אֵל שַׁדַּי).

“God will remove the barriers from your hearts and from the hearts of your descendants, so that you will love God your Lord with all your heart and soul. Thus will you survive.” (Devarim 30:6, Moshe)

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