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The Chumash Leviticus 19

1-4. Holiness, parents, Sabbath, and idols.

1. HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2. Speak to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for holy am I, HASHEM, your God. 3. Every man: Your mother and father shall you revere and My Sabbaths shall you observe – I am HASHEM, your God. 4. Do not turn to the idols, and molten gods shall you not make for yourselves – I am HASHEM, your God.

1-4. The reason for these prohibitions was to make it possible for the nation to become holy by emulating its Creator as much as possible.

2. These essential laws are the Sabbath, reverence for parents, the prohibitions against stealing and taking revenge or bearing grudges, and the commandment to love one’s fellows.

It is an admonition that one’s approach to all aspects of life be governed by moderation, particularly in the area of what is permitted. … self-indulgence, gluttony, licentiousness…. Sanctify yourself in what is permitted to you, by refraining not only from what is expressly forbidden, but from too much of what is permitted.

3. all three – God, father, mother – are partners in a person’s existence.

4. Having exhorted all Jews to show regard for the three partners – God, father, and mother – who brought them into being, the Torah forbids anyone to add false deities to this partnership.

this verse forbids the study or discussion of the rites and philosophy of idolatry. This prohibition extends even to someone who seeks to learn about idols only to disparage them.

Human nature – and history – demonstrate that many people have thought they were strong enough to control their thoughts and desires, only to become ensnared by the very creeds they railed against. [Adam and Eva ate the apple.]

This is a point: we should keep our kids from exposing to something that is not health at all. Knowing too much is not a good thing either.

5-8. Piggul/Rejected offerings

9. When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not complete your reaping to the corner of your field, and the gleanings of your harvest you shall not take. 10. You shall not pick the undeveloped twigs of your vineyard; and the fallen fruit of your vineyard you hsall not gather; for the poor and the proselyte shall you leave them – I am HASHEM, your God.

9-10. Gifts to the poor. God is merciful and charitable. He commands His people to display the same sort of kindness by setting aside part of their crop for the poor. The poor are entitled to take one or two grapes – but not three – that fall during the harvest.

13. … a worker’s wage shall not remain with you overnight until morning. 14. You shall not curse the deaf, and you shall not place a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God – I am HASHEM. 15. You shall not commit a perversion of justice; you shall not favor the poor and you shall not honor the great; with righteousness shall yo judge your fellow.

11-15. Honest dealings with others. People may look for ways to deceive others in business, to deny obligations that cannot be proven, to invoke God’s Name to convince others that lies are true, to underplay laborers, or to seek personal gain through unctuous flattery.

the defense mechanism of human nature [better not wrong in the first place.]

one should not give bad advice to an unsuspecting person, particularly if the advisor stands to benefit from the other’s error. It also forbidden to cause someone to sin. …we are responsible for the welfare of others and may not do anything to undermine it.

Someone who gives bad advice can easily hide his perfidy by saying he was sincere and meant well. But the Torah warns him that he cannot deceive God. One who preys on the deaf and blind should beware, for God can punish him by making him deaf and blind.

one must always give people the benefit of doubt.

17. … you shall reprove your fellow and do not bear a sin because of him.

one must reprove over and over. It is unwise to tell someone bluntly how utterly wrong his actions have been. This will only embarrass and antagonize him; it will boomerang. It is wiser to break up the criticism into a hundred small parts, going gradually, a step at a time, to draw him closer to your point of view in a palatable way.

God demands that we want others to have the same degree of success and prosperity that we want for ourselves and that we treat others with the utmost respect and consideration.

A list of realistic examples of how one can love your fellows as yourself.

  1. your affection for others should be real, not feigned.
  2. Always treat others with respect.
  3. Always seek the best for them.
  4. Join in their pain.
  5. Greet them with friendliness.
  6. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
  7. Assist them physically, even in matters that are not very difficult.
  8. Be ready to assist with small or moderate loans and gifts.
  9. Do not consider yourself better than them.

19. Kil’ayim/Forbidden mixtures.

20-22. Shifchah charufah / The designated maidservant.

23-25. Orlah / The first three years of trees.

35. You shall not commit a perversion in justice, in measures of length, weight, or volume. 36. You shall have correct scales, correct weights, correct dry measures, and correct liquid measures – I am HASHEM, your God, Who brought you forth from the land of Egypt.

35-36.Weights and measures. The Torah likens a person doing business to a judge, and someone who falsifies weights and measures is like a judge who perverts judgment. … one who falsifies them is considered as if he denies that there is a God who sees all.

  • emulate
  • observance
  • scrupulous
  • credence
  • allusion
  • axiomatic: self-evident, unquestionable, undeniable
  • secular
  • admonition
  • self-indulgence
  • gluttony
  • licentiousness
  • infraction
  • unctuous
  • abet
  • perfidy
  • treacherous
  • perversion
  • gossipmonger
  • peddler
  • reprove
  • boomerang
  • palatable
  • purge
  • lash
  • sorcerer
  • incantation
  • harlotry

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