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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


Shemini 26-7

Eighth

Leviticus 11:33-47 

I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

Lev. 11:44-45 NIV

What is sanctity?

Sanctity is to be different. The Eternal is sanctified in the sense of being different, set apart from all created things or beings. He is outside the creation but it doesn't mean that He can't guide and manifest Himself within and through creation. His sanctity is the most stressed feature in regards to His relation with the things He created. He is not created; He is set apart, separated from the creation, different, sacred.

And in the same way that the Eternal is sacred in relation to the creation, He wishes His son, the people of Israel, also to be sacred in regards to the rest of the creation.

That's why we learn in this chapter that the sons of Israel have to abstain from eating and touching corpses of certain animals that produce ritual impurity. In this way, they become sanctified in two aspects; they separate themselves from the animals that produce ritual impurity and they separate themselves from the ways of the other nations. So their behaviour becomes sanctified, different, separated, set apart.

There are many other areas in human life that the Eternal has established as means for the sanctification of men. All His laws were given to sanctify His people. The commandments sanctify us – they set us apart from sinful conducts and bring us close to the Eternal.

Sanctification through obedience to the commandments not only produces closeness to the Eternal, but also creates in the sacred people a reflection of the Sacred One in this world. In other words, the more faithful we are when fulfilling the commandments, the closer to the Eternal we are and the more we will reflect His sanctity in this world. That's why when we pray: "sanctified be Your name" we are expressing our desire to fulfill the purpose of the commandments, that the Eternal is sanctified in this world through us. When we are sacred in our life, the name of the Eternal is sanctified in this world.

"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

1 Peter. 1:14-16 NIV

Shabbat shalom,

Ketriel


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