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    Profaning the holy things – Korach

    The sidra ends with a call that echoes throughout our history: “Do not profane the holy things of the Children of Israel lest you die.” (Num. 18:32).

    Apart from the historical meaning of the verse, there is a message for all generations. The way to keep alive as a people is to hallow the holy. The moment the holy things cease to be holy, there is no guarantee that there will be life, hope or destiny.

    What are the holy things?

    There are four main categories:

    1. Sacred objects, mezuzah, menorah, shofar, lulav – these and the many other distinctive marks of the Jewish heritage.

    2. The sacred moments of the Jewish year – the festivals, Shabbat, the life-cycle events.

    3. The sacred ideas and ideals – knowledge, respect, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness … and so many more.

    4. Above all: the name and existence of the Holy One, Blessed be He.

    No-one can force a Jew to believe in God, but without God there is no direction, inspiration and dignity. One of the Chassidic teachers said, “You think it’s hard to believe in God? Then try for six months to live without believing in Him…”.

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