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Dedicated in memory of Alice Setton

           Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim                                                April 24, 2021  12 Iyar, 5781
                                           Rabbi Sacks on Acharei Mot-Kedoshim
              ARTSCROLL  636           Kedoshim contains the   the ethic of love. The initial and  have no reason, at any rate
                 HERTZ   480           two great love commands  most basic principle of morality  none that we can
                                       of the Torah. The first is,   is clearly stated in the Torah:   understand. What have they
                                       “Love your neighbour as
                  HAFTORAH             yourself. I am the      Thou shalt love thy neighbor as  to do with the self-evidently
                                                               thyself.” He adds: “The biblical  moral commands of the love
             ARTSCROLL   1173          Lord” (Lev. 19:18). Rabbi  “love of one’s neighbor” is a   of neighbor and stranger? Is
                  HERTZ  509           Akiva called this “the   very special form of love, a   the chapter simply an
                                       great principle of the   unique development of the   assemblage of disconnected
                 Bar Mitzvah           Torah.” The second is no   Judaic religion and unlike any   commands, or is there a
                       of              less challenging: “The   to be encountered outside it.”   single unifying strand to it?
              Shmuel Yehaskel          stranger living among you   Much has been written about   The answer goes deep.
                                       must be treated as your   these commands. Who exactly   Almost every ethical system
                     Times             native-born. Love him as   is meant by “your neighbor”?   ever devised has sought to
                                       yourself, for you were
                                       strangers in Egypt. I am   Who by “the stranger”? And   reduce the moral life to a
           Weekly Times                  the Lord your God” (Lev.   what is it to love someone else  single principle or
                                       19:34). These are       as oneself? I want to ask a   perspective. Some connect
           Shacharit: Sun.                    8:30 am   extraordinary commands.   different question. Why is it   it to reason, others to
           Mon. - Fri.          7:45 am                        specifically here, in Kedoshim,   emotion, yet others to
                                       Many civilizations contain
           Mincha               7:25 pm   variants of the Golden   in a chapter dedicated to the   consequences: do whatever
                                                               concept of holiness, that the
                                                                                           creates the greatest
                                       Rule: “Do unto others as
           Shabbat Times                 you would have them do   command appears? Nowhere   happiness for the greatest
           Friday Night         7:00 pm   to you,” or in the   else in all Tanach are we   number. Judaism is
                                                                                           different. It is more complex
                                                               commanded to love our
           Mincha                      negative form attributed   neighbor. And only in one other  and subtle. It contains not
                                       to Hillel (sometimes
           Candle Lighting      7:25 pm   called the Silver Rule),   place (Deut. 10:19) are we   one perspective but three.
                                       “What is hateful to you,   commanded to love the    There is the prophetic
           Hashkama             8:00 am                        stranger. (The Sages famously   understanding of morality,
                                       do not do to your
                                       neighbor. That is the   said that the Torah commands   the priestly perspective and
           Main Sanctuary       9:00 am                        us thirty-six times to love the   the wisdom point of view.
                                       whole Torah. The rest is   stranger, but that is not quite   Prophetic morality looks at
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am   commentary; go and   accurate. Thirty-four of those   the quality of relationships
           (Gym)                       learn.” But these are
                                       rules of reciprocity, not   commands have to do with not  within a society, between us
           Youth Minyan         9:45 am   love. We observe them   oppressing or afflicting the   and God and between us
                                       because bad things will   stranger and making sure that   and our fellow humans. Here
           Gemara Shiur         6:35 pm                        he or she has the same legal   are some of the key texts
                                       happen to us if we don’t.   rights as the native born. These  that define this morality.
           Mincha/SS            7:20 pm   They are the basic ground  are commands of justice rather  God says about Abraham,
                                       -rules of life in a group.                          “For I have chosen him, so
           Shabbat Ends         8:34 pm   Love is something    than love). And why does the
                                                               command to love your neighbor  that he will direct his
                                       altogether different and
                   Latest Times for    more demanding. That    as yourself appear in a chapter  children and his household
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   makes these two         containing such laws as, “Do   after him to keep the way of
                                       commandments a          not mate different kinds of   the Lord by doing what is
           Apr. 24          9:27/10:36 am   revolution in the moral   animals. Do not plant your field  right [tzedakah] and just
                                       life. Judaism was the first   with two kinds of seed. Do not   [mishpat].” God tells Hosea,
           May 1            9:22/10:32 am   civilization to put love at   wear clothing woven of two   “I will betroth you to Me in
                                       the heart of morality. As   kinds of material”? These are   righteousness [tzedek] and
                    Next Shabbat                                             chukim, decrees, usually   justice [mishpat], in
                                       Harry Redner puts it in
                       Emor                                    thought of as commands that   kindness [chessed] and
                                       Ethical Life, “Morality is
           Mincha               7:00 pm     Kiddush is sponsored by Davida & Mark Yehaskel
           Candle Lighting      7:32 pm                  in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son Shmuel
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