THIS WEEK'S TORAH READING:
: Leviticus 19: 1 - 20:27
continues the theme of the preceding chapters by indicating that holiness should be a part of our daily lives. "
spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God am holy. ' " (Lev 19:1 - 2). The
goes on to detail much of what it means to "be holy". This includes revering one's parents, not worshipping idols, keeping
, giving to the poor, not stealing, treating others kindly, loving your neighbor and in general observing God's laws!
While we celebrated
(Israel Independence Day) on Thursday, this
is the real date (5 Iyar) that Israel was declared a nation in 1948 (the celebration is moved when it occurs on
). While I don't often refer you to articles, this week I wanted to share a beautiful story from the Times of Israel that exemplifies what it means to have a Jewish state and what it also means to be a part of a people commanded to "be holy, for I,
your God, am holy" (Lev. 19:2). It is about a woman named Maria Nahmias. To give you a small preview, Maria Nahmias was chosen this year to light the torch at the 71st Independence Day celebrations on Mt. Herzl. The lighting of this torch is considered one of the highest honors in Israel. She was born in Tunisia and came to Israel in the 1950's with most of the Tunisian Jewish community. In 1973 her son was wounded during the
War. At that time, she took an oath that if her son survived, that she would give back to others any chance she had. To read what she accomplished in the years since then,
please click on the article here.
You will find no greater example of both what it means for a Jew to give thanks for the existence of a Jewish State and what it means to live your life based on the values found in