Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Holiness for the People

It's long been my thesis that the Torah was given primarily to Sanctify the Community as a Whole and not for the individual per se. Individuals have always had access to sacred pursuits, even independent of Mattan Torah, think Yisro or Sheim vo'Ever

And so the principles of Mamleches Kohanim v'Goy Qadosh and Q'doshim Tihyu were primarily addressing the Community as a whole. Of course some Y'chidei S'gulah do need to perfect themselves as role models or facilitators on behalf of the community. So I concede tha some individuals need to "self-prefect". Yet IMHO the focus of the Torah was not as Mussar Sefer for the individual; rather that the Torah addressed the Am, the people, the community, the tzibbur at large to create a Just, Moral, and Holy Society.

Now, go see for yourself which paradigm fits best with the following -

[Aspaqlaria] Portraits in Holiness


«We will soon get to Rav Shim'on Shkop's explanation of the mitzvah "qedoshim tihyu – and you shall be holy."

It appears according to my limited knowledge, that this mitzvah includes every foundation and root of the purpose of our lives. All of our work and effort should constantly be sanctified to doing
==> good for the community.
We should not use any act, movement, or get benefit or enjoyment that doesn't have in it some element of helping another….»*

* Hebrew Source Below

נלענ׳׳ד, שבמצוה זו כלול כל יסוד ושורש מגמת תכלית חיינו, שיהיו כל עבודתנו ועמלנו תמיד מוקדשים לטובת הכלל, שלא נשתמש בשום מעשה ותנועה, הנאה ותענוג שלא יהיה בזה איזה ענין לטובת זולתנו


1 comment:

micha said...

Is holiness a duty to make sure the community has a food bank for the poor, or to actually be the one to feed them?

Rav Shimon defines holiness -- and in fact the definition of human perfection in general -- in terms of giving to others "the individual and the community". But he sees this as a personal job, including developing the capacity to give.