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"Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying. Speak to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and say to them - You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem, your G-d" (Vayikra 19:1-2).

Many ask, why is the fact that Hashem is holy a reason to obligate every one of us to be holy too? How can we compare ourselves to Hashem and how do His attributes require us to be likewise?

However, the passage may be understood in a totally different way. A person's success is usually related to his aspirations. If he idolizes a sportsman, he may, very possibly, grow up to be one. But if he idolizes one who is a scholar and a public servant, he may dedicate his life to those lofty ideals too.

Hashem wants us to focus upon His Holiness and aspire to reach the greatest heights possible to attain. Of course we cannot be like Him; but we can go in that direction and achieve the highest level of holiness possible.

Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein shlita, records a very interesting story in his fabulous sefer, Tuvecha Yabiu.

In Jerusalem resides a great talmid chacham (Torah scholar) who was chozer biteshuvah (penitent) a few years ago. His name is Harav Baruch Heiman and he has phenomenal success in every spiritual thing that he does. Every institution of learning that he establishes is tremendously successful. Every shiur (study lesson) that he organizes attracts many students. Rav Heiman recently explained what he sees as the source of his unusually great success.

In the State of Israel, during the Administration of David Ben Gurion, there was once a Minister of Education by the name of Zalman Aran. Aran was an ardent admirer of Ben Gurion and spoke about his greatness all of the time. Aran himself was not religious, but his wife tried to do what she could to make their home a Jewish one. She would light the candles on Friday night and would pray to Hashem that her children should be like the Prime Minister who was her husband's idol and whom she knew as being the greatest Jew in the generation.

One day, Ben Gurion requested an appointment with the Chazon Ish zt"l. The meeting was arranged and Ben Gurion was extremely impressed with the rabbi. When he returned to his office, the Prime Minister told his closest associates, including Zalman Aran, that the Chazon Ish was a great giant, and he even added that he appeared to him to be like a heavenly angel.

When Aran returned home, he shared with his wife the impressions of his "boss," and told her everything Ben Gurion had said about the Rabbi in B'nei B'rak. She listened attentively and decided on the spot that from now on she would pray that her children be like the Chazon Ish. Since the man they most respected had declared that he was like an angel, it made sense that she should ask for the most she could possibly get for her offspring who depended upon her.

"I," said Rav Heiman," am a grandson of Zalman Aran, and I believe wholeheartedly that my grandmother's prayers are what helped me to become a ba'al teshuvah, to come close to Torah and mitzvahs. I also am sure that that is why I am so successful in what I do."

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel