Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Spiritual fulfillment

Rote makes right?

The Torah's demand this week to be kdoshim — holy, pious, dedicated and sanctified — seems at first glance to be quite a tall order. Is it not unrealistic for the Bible to ask people immersed in trying to get through the day, make a living for themselves and their families, fight illnesses and the difficulties of society and life generally, to raise themselves somehow to a level of being kdoshim?

This week's reading contains many varied and different mitzvos (religious duties) which deal with all areas of human life and experience. In fact, the portion contains the greatest number of mitzvos in the Torah. It is not coincidental that this plethora of mitzvos occurs in the parsha of kdoshim.

Religious duties often lead one to greater love of God, even if they seem inane. EG. Not eating meat on Fridays probably didn't do a lot for most people to make they "feel" closer to God. However, corporate observance of the law created a sense of community that did bring people closer to God.

I think this is a biger debate in the Jewish world (in my experience) mostly because there aren't exactly a great number of rules left to be broken in the Catholic world, beyond the procreative/reproductive/sexual issues.

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