You will be holy because I am holy. (Lev. 19:2)
To be holy. To be whole. Or to be filled with holes – filled with more empty spaces than not. To be not-whole, not holy.
This week there are huge holes in our souls, souls filled instead with the bomb blasts that blow holes in our souls, runners’ soles.
I believe the person who blew away the whole-ness will be caught. I really don’t care why s/he did what s/he did. Leaders may talk about finding out the who and the why – I only care about the who because I can’t begin to fathom the why.
This week’s double portion is Acharei Mot/Kedoshim.
Acharei Mot – after death. Whose deaths? Aaron’s sons, for having brought a strange fire into the Tabernacle. Kedoshim – holiness-es. Whose holiness? God’s, and because of God’s, ours.
After the deaths of his sons, Aaron is told exactly how and when and where to take two goats, randomly choose one for slaughter and one for sending away. Lay the sins of the community on the head of the one which has been chosen for exile, and send it out into the wilderness to die. Remove the wildness from your midst. Send away that which brings death/sin/unholiness into the community. Then, after the un-holiness has been removed, Leviticus lays out the way in which a just and fair society functions. There are rules. There are reasons for the rules – the community runs smoothly. Who cares if it’s because God said so, or just because things run better this way? Just be holy because God is holy. And then we get lists and lists of how to act holy.
Don’t defraud your fellow. Don’t rob him. Don’t keep your workers’ paycheck until morning. Don’t insult the deaf. Don’t put a stumbling block before those who can’t see. Don’t favor the rich, or give preference to the poor. Don’t reap all the way to the ends of your field – make sure you leave some for the poor and the stranger.
Don’t hate your kinfolk in your heart. Love your fellow as you do yourself. I am God.
Where is the holiness after the death and destruction of Boston? Acharei Mot…Kedoshim.
Boston became a holy place. Boston helped each other. Boston opened hearts and homes and veins. Boston rid itself of the un-holiness so it could become whole again.
Acharei Mot…after death….Kedoshim….holiness. This week the parasha is called Boston.