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    The whole congregation – K’doshim

    Normally a Torah commandment begins, “Speak to the Children of Israel”.

    Today’s sidra, K’doshim, says more. It opens, “Speak to all the congregation of the Children of Israel and tell them to be holy people” (Num. 19:2).

    Addressing “all the congregation” teaches us an important lesson, that holiness does not come from being a hermit-like individual but by working in and with society.

    There is a Yiddish phrase about being a tzaddik in a fur coat, which is a warning against being warm for and by yourself without bringing warmth to other people too.

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