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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 8, 2008 / 2 Adar I 5768

Just how holy is life?

By Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is no stronger reminder of the holiness of the Sabbath than the categorical imperative not to violate this day while building the Tabernacle and later the Temple. While the children of Israel are commanded to build this most sacred place on earth symbolizing the encounter between the Divine and man, G-d makes it clear that the Sabbath is still not to be violated. There is a need to stop this holy work, even in the middle, to make space for this holy day: It is more holy than the Tabernacle and (later) the Temple.

Listen, if you will, to the Divine's exact words:


"But("Ach") My Sabbaths you shall keep. For that is a sign between Me and you throughout the generations that you may know that I, G-d, sanctify you." (Exodus 31:13).


Ramban, however points out that the word "but" ("ach") also alludes to the fact that in accordance with Oral tradition this word means: With the exception of certain cases, you shall always observe the Sabbath. The most famous case of such an exception is the one related to saving human life on the Sabbath. When human life is in danger, the law actually requires the violation of the Sabbath so as to save this life — even when doing so would extend it for only a few more minutes. Failure to do so would be a clear transgression of G-d's Torah.

From this we learn two important facts: The Sabbath is more holy than the Tabernacle. And human life is even more holy than the Sabbath.

We may suggest a most novel interpretation: G-d seems to be saying: Do you know why I gave you the Tabernacle and the institution of the Sabbath? You may think that they are the supreme manifestations of holiness in the world. But they are not! What I am trying to teach you is that there is one other manifestation of holiness that surpasses the holiness of the Tabernacle and of the Sabbath. And that is human life.

This, says G-d, is the reason why I first introduced you to the Tabernacle. No doubt you must have thought that there can't be a more exalted form of holiness than the Tabernacle-Temple. After all, it is there that man and G-d can "meet" as nowhere else. I even told you that this place is so holy that only the High Priest on Yom Kippur would be allowed to enter the Tabernacle's most sanctified inner spot, the Holy of Holiness. And when he would fail to live up to its supreme holiness, it could become the place of his undoing. The holiness of the abernacle would be so overwhelming that it would cause him to collapse. So what can be more holy?

And still, there is an even greater form of holiness: Not the holiness of space but as the philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel suggested, the holiness of time: The Sabbath. You must observe the Sabbath even when you are building the Tabernacle. So how holy is the Sabbath? Holier than the Holy of Holiness! Now, no doubt, you must have concluded that nothing can be more holy than that! The Sabbath! And again I, G-d, must warn you, that you are mistaken.

There is something even more holy: The life of Man.

Not only will the holiness of the Tabernacle have to make space for the holiness of the Sabbath, but the Sabbath has to give way for the holiness of human life. Only when you have reached the sanctity of human life have you reached the supreme unchallenged manifestation of holiness.

There is no greater holiness than that. And now, as a result, you are able to understand why I commanded you that while building the Tabernacle you will have to observe the Sabbath: "So that you may know that I sanctify YOU" (Exodus 31:13).

Not the Sabbath, but YOU!

How else, after all, could I have made you aware of man's unchallenged supreme holiness? This is only possible when I first introduce you to what you would have thought to be the peak of holiness: The Tabernacle, and afterwards to the even greater holiness of the Sabbath. Only then are you able to grasp the ultimate manifestation of holiness: The sanctity of the life of man.

And this is the reason why I asked you to build Me a Tabernacle and observe the Sabbath. The main reason for these "institutions" is not that they themselves merely need to be observed, but to teach you one unequaled lesson: The unparalleled holiness of you and your fellow man!

At the same time, you should know that it is only through your observing the Sabbath that you will be able to grasp the unprecedented holiness of human life. Just as it is possible to violate the holiness of this day with what you believe to be a single, minor, or trivial act (such as lighting a candle), so could you violate a fellow man's holiness and kavod (dignity) by one "insignificant," "trivial" wrong.

Just one slightly unpleasant and unnecessary word may be all that's needed to cause irreparable damage to another person.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a world-renowned lecturer and ambassador for Judaism, the Jewish people, the State of Israel and Sephardic Heritage. Comment by clicking here.


© 2008, Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo