Parshat Qedoshim (Holy)

The Torah portion is Qedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27.

This parshah begins by emphasizing holiness and reiterating some of the "Ten Commandments" in more detail. This is followed by a wide variety of commandments about the treatment of people, animals and plants, and many other specific details. It also reiterates and elaborates on the commandments against incest, homosexuality and bestiality first mentioned in the previous parshah that is often read in the same week as this one. Don't blame me or call me homophobic; I am merely reporting what this parshah says. It also speaks of the rules of kosher animals as being a source of holiness. In an unusual turn, the parshah ends on a negative note, imposing the death penalty on those who consult with spirits.

The haftarah is Amos 9:7-9:15. It speaks of the penalties of not maintaining the laws of holiness from the Torah portion, but assures that the children of Israel will survive and will be rewarded in the end.

In synagogues using the Sephardic tradition, the Haftarah is Ezekiel 20:2-20:20.