Weekly Update: May 13, 2016 — 5 Iyar 5776

As reported last week, the GAJE committees are continuing with their respective tasks.

The CIJA Task Force on the Affordability of Jewish Education met today. As you know, GAJE is a member of the CIJA committee. Next week we will provide a report of this meeting.

•••

Early in this week’s Torah Portion, Kedoshim, we read a compelling command from God to the Jewish people as related by Moshe.

“Be holy,” God says, “because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”

Holiness, we quickly learn, is determined by how we behave rather than by who we are. There is no automatic status of holiness. Holiness does not attach to us by virtue of our lineage or our ancestry. Holiness attaches to us by virtue of our behaviour toward our fellow human beings.

For us to better understand what is expected of us in order to behave in a holy manner, the Torah then provides a set of examples of the types of behaviour that fall within the “holiness” category. One of the key prototypical examples is “you shall not insult a deaf individual or place a stumbling block before an individual who is crippled.” (It is not difficult to see the straight line between this mandatory injunction and modern human rights legislation.)

It is in this spirit of holiness-through-action that we pursue our objective of making Jewish education affordable for every family that seeks such education for their children. The cost of a Jewish education should be within reach of the young families that comprise our community. Helping them helps us all. It helps secure a confidant, knowledgeable, thriving Jewish community for all times.

Is that not also an act of holiness?

It must be.

•••

Shabbat shalom.

GAJE

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