NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
This injunction to not do as the 'Egyptians' is followed by a list of unacceptable sexual behaviors in the sight of Hashem which I like to believe believe are a-given in the world of believers.
The chapter starts with a special injunction though which is not just sexual. It rather naturally attaches it self to the other Mosaic exhortation: "
Do not follow the crowd when it does what is wrong;..." which is given within this time the context of justice and right judgment as iks seen with the last part of the statement...:"
... and don't allow the popular view to sway you into offering testimony for any cause if the effect will be to pervert justice."(Exodus 23:2).
As believers, it is easy to follow and obey the outward commandments such as proper sexual behavior, eating somewhat kosher, using the right lingo, attaching tzitzits to our clothing, refraining from work on the Shabbat, etc ...These are all commandments which find their own accountability in the fact that they are outward commandments. People see us living, eating, dressing differently which motivates to do them and therefore lay claim of obedience to the Leviticus 18:3 command in not practicing the evil deeds of the Egyptians.
These are all good and well but we might want to look at some of the less obvious things such as the 7 most hated things in the eyes of Hashem but are very common behavior even (if not especially) in the political and, yes, in the religious world. Here is what they are:
There are six things Adonai hates, seven which he detests:
a haughty look,-------pride, arrogance, the sin of being condescending
a lying tongue, --------- not to speak the truth in our heart but rather what we want to appear as in front of others while all the time ignoring that Hashem sees the depth of our hearts.
3. hands that shed innocent blood,-----
the innocent blood that is shed through abortions, but also the blood shed by our indifference to the plight of those less fortunate than us, or by closing our eyes so we don't feel the responsibility.
4. a heart that plots wicked schemes,-------we do this when we practice revenge (which Hashem says belongs to Him); when we want to get back at someone; when we do not want to lose an asset; are competitive in business.
5. feet swift in running to do evil,----
when we are swift to do what is wrong and pleases us but in comparison, slow to do what pleases Hashem.
6. a false witness who lies with every breath,---we do this in business advertisement by over-rating our goods and down-rating those of others. Sadly, we do this also very much in politics and religion.
7. and him who sows strife among brothers. ---a very common practice in families, especially again when it comes to politics and religions. Congregations are split because of it thus remaining in a never ending pattern of divisions and separations. In this one, whereas religious people seem to strive in splitting hairs, politicains and businesses folk have learned that they have much more to gain through unity than by divisions. As the Master Himself said, "...
the worldly have more sekhel (brains)
than those who have received the light -- (Luke 16:8)
The notions of pride, arrogance, smart dealings, deceiving, overpowering others and the likes are very valued in our world. They valued way above the virtues of humility, truth, honesty, integrity, letting ourselves be defrauded, or going 'under' for the sake of peace, May we remember the words of the Master:
"You people make yourselves look righteous to others, but God knows your hearts;
what people regard highly is an abomination before God!