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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"You shall make an altar on which to bring incense up in smoke ....." (30:1) " is holy of holies to G-d." (30:10))

The Torah is commanding the Jewish people to make a special altar by which incense can be offered in the Mishkan (Tabernacle).This altar has a status of "holy of holies". There is a very unique lesson that be learned from this distinction. I would like to propose the following original approach in better understanding what perhaps this means, Bezrat Hashem. In Leviticus (19:1), G-d commands the Jewish people to be holy. This is also a special and unique distinction given to the Jewish people. But, how can a Jew go beyond just "holiness" and reach a higher plateau of being "holy of holies" like the incense altar? This spiritual realm does exist as it is associated with the Incense Altar. From the Incense Altar , we can learn the means by which this spiritual level can be reached. The smoke from the Incense Altar invigorates our sense of smell which is a spontaneous reaction. This causes pleasure almost immediately. In the same way must our deeds evoke a sense of delight before G-d and man. This is how we can achieve the status of being"Holy of Holies". Only when our deeds become sanctified can this be achieved. The manner by which we speak, conduct business , and act must all evoke a pleasurable reaction. When the nations of the world can look at the behavior of a Jew with admiration, then this person has reached the level of "Holy Of Holies". How do we as Jews appear to others? Do we allow the incense to rise with our deeds, or not? have a good Shabbos


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