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Friday, May 9, 2008

Dvar Torah for Parshat Emor

by Leah Larson

In this week's Parsha, Parshat Emor, Hashem gives the commandments to sanctify Hashem's name, and not to desecrate Hashem's name. What does it mean to sanctify Hashem's name? Another word for sanctifying Hashem's name is 'making a Kiddush Hashem'. When we hear the word Kiddush Hashem, we might think of a great action from long ago. For many years Jews had to give up their life if they wanted to remain Jewish, and of course that was a big Kiddush Hashem. But now we, Baruch Hashem, live in a world where we don't have to give up our lives to be Jewish. We can live a Jewish life in peace and freedom. Now instead of dying for Hashem, we have to live for Hashem. We do this by living a Torah lifestyle, and by showing others how a Jew behaves.
For example, if you're out in the supermarket with your siblings, people around you are watching to see how Jews act. We are Hashem's representatives! If you are responsible and kind with your siblings, you hold the door for someone, or you offer to help an elderly woman carry her groceries, you make a big Kiddush Hashem! You show people that Jews are kind and helpful. But if you fight with your siblings, whine, and run around the store, then that is a Chillul Hashem, desecrating G-d's name. 
We are always Hashem's representatives, so wherever we are we have so many opportunities to make a Kiddush Hashem! Whether it's at school, in the park, on vacation, or in a museum, you can act the way that will make Hashem proud. 
Good Shabbos!

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