Shabbat Kedoshim Shalom

by Phyllis Chesler

This has been an especially hard week for me and for others too I’m sure. What’s a girl to do? Well, I usually turn to the parasha for consolation, elevation, enlightenment—and in the hope that I’ll see something new, perhaps even hear God’s voice. And it happened—I noticed something that I’d not seen before.

God says, clearly, plainly, almost at the outset, (19:3) that “Esh emo v’aviv teraoo” A man/a person should fear their mother and their father. And Rashi, the great, the divine Rashi, transposes the order and justifies his transposition. He says that a transposed order is the “plain meaning of the statement “”zehu p’shuto.” Me? After so many political assaults upon womankind and especially upon motherhood—I choose to take this as sign that at least God is in our corner, rooting for us.  Surely, a heavenly Mother’s Day greeting!

I also love that God comes out against unfairness, injustice, trickery, slander, bystander behavior, hatred, turning one’s daughter into a “harlot,” —and stands for loving the stranger and the proselyte as you love yourself…not bad.  Nu, I don’t like stoning as a punishment but I’ll focus on that another day. Until then, let us remember that we miserable sinners are “holy” because “kadosh ani Hashem.”

Shabbat Kedoshim Shalom.