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D’var Torah - Kedoshim

From our Hebrew School Director Liora Ramati

A guard working in a laboratory always used to greet the employees. He cared to say his hellos and goodbyes to everyone who would come or leave the lab no matter if they would not answer back. But there was a man who always made sure to greet him back. One day, that same man, got locked in one of the cold labs. At the end of the day, the guard looked for him and found him. The man couldn’t believe his luck after thinking it’s the end and he would freeze to death. He asked the guard how he knew to look for him and the guard said that he remembered him greeting him back good morning, but he never told him goodnight and therefore he knew he never left the building. This man’s good heart set him apart from the other employees and saved his life. What sets you apart?

This week’s Torah portion is called Kedoshim – Holy

והייתם לי קדושים כי קדוש אני יהוה ואבדיל אתכם מן-העמים להיות לי. 

You shall be holy to Me, for I am the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the other peoples to be Mine. 

Every week, on Saturday night, after the appearance of 3 stars in the sky, Shabbat, our holy day ends, and we perform the Havdalah service, separating between the holy and the mundane.

During the Havdalah service we first bless over the wine – using our mouth. Then we bless over the spices, using our nose, after we bless over the candle using our eyes, looking at the flame and lastly, we Extinguish the flame of the candle in the wine, using our mind, understanding that the Holy Shabbat has come to an end. 

The order of the prayers in this ceremony starts with the mouth, rising to the nose, eyes and brain to teach us that our aspiration should always be upwards. 

Climbing up to acts of holiness.

As the Jewish people, we were chosen to be a model for all Humanity of how people can achieve holiness.

Being holy is the way we are taught to act, to reflect well on G-d and on all of us as a whole. That is a big mission and a challenge, but we should understand that this is not done or achieved in one day, it takes time and hard work just like growing wheat – and harvesting it, to get enough grain for the Omer offering to bring to the Temple.

Today is 18 days, which is 2 weeks and 4 days of the Omer – we arrived at the stage of Gevura Shebatifheret, Might within Beauty! Until we reach 49 days – Majesty – Malchut.

The period between Passover to Shavuot is an historic event and a beautiful period of counting the Omer as we look forward to Zman Matan Torah.  It is customary to read from Pirkei Avot (ethics of our fathers): the sages guide to living.

Counting the Omer is like climbing a ladder to reach a good heart. Lev Tov!

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai said to his 5 disciples: Go out and see which is the good path to which a man should cling? he chose Rabbi Elazar answer to be the best:

A good heart! Why? Because it is a fundamental tool in the service of G-d.

This teaches us that the most important way to live our life is with a good heart. From a good heart flows good actions and character. 

One can deal with the difficulties of life if he possesses a good heart.

If we use the counting of the Omer idea and start to count from the beginning of our Torah 32 words – representing the word Lev (lamed = 30 and bet = 2), starting with the first word in our Torah (Bereshit), we will arrive to the word: Tov – Good. 

The word good – Tov equals to 17 (tet=9, vav, 6, bet= 2). 32 (lev)+17 (tov) = 49 days of counting the Omer and on the 50 day is when we can receive the Torah. 

Meaning: If you start from the beginning of the Torah and follow your heart you will reach goodness. 

Since October 7 we have been counting, counting the days of now, 132 hostages kidnapped in Gaza, counting the days of war against evil, counting the people that have turned against us, separating themselves from us, the Jewish people and setting us apart. 

What should we do? Remember what we do during the Havdalah service when we are saying goodbye to our beautiful and restful holy day, our beautiful shabbat kalah. Knowing its only temporary until we will be able enjoy her presence again.

So, First, take a drink and relax, know that we will overcome!

Second, Stop take a big breath and smell the flowers, some good things are happening as well. 

Third, light up your inner flame and stand up tall and proud to be Jewish with Israel as your homeland.

And then remember that during Havdalah the beautiful light of Shabbat is diminished with a cup full of blessed wine and the candle is tall with many wicks to be lit again and again, as many times needed until the world will see who we really are, Holy – Kedoshim! 

And that is what sets us apart – our Good Heart!


Beth Moshe Congregation is filled with generations of South Florida families with roots and traditional values. 

2225 NE 121 Street, North Miami, Florida 33181

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305 891 5508