9 Sanctifying G-d’s Name

Ninth Command: Sanctifying G-d’s Name

You shall not Desecrate My Holy Name; and I will be Sanctified in the midst of the sons of Israel; I AM HaShem who Makes you holy.  Vayikra (Leviticus) 22.32

וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲנִי יְהֹוָה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם:

And not – shall desecrate – everything from Aleph to Tav – Name – My Holiness – and I will be Sanctified – in the midst of – sons of – Israel – I – HaShem – Makes you Holy.

How can you Sanctify G-d’s Name unless you first know Him and His Torah.

To Sanctify means to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.

In Judaism it is referred to as Kiddush HaShem / Chillul HaShem

Terms denoting the highest positive and negative standards of Jewish ethics, the one indicating that everything within man’s power should be done to glorify the Name of G-d before the world, the other that everything should be avoided which may reflect discredit upon the religion of Israel and thereby desecrate the Name of G-d.

Rabbi Pinehas ben Ya’ir would say: Torah study leads to care in the performance of mitzvot. Care in the performance of mitzvot leads to diligence in their observance. Diligence leads to cleanliness of the soul. Cleanliness of the soul leads to abstention from all evil. Abstention from evil leads to purity and the elimination of all base desires. Purity leads to piety. Piety leads to humility. Humility leads to fear of sin. Fear of sin leads to holiness. Holiness leads to the Divine Spirit. The Divine Spirit leads to the resurrection of the dead, And piety is greater than all of them, as it is stated: Then You did speak in a vision to Your pious ones. (Psalms 89:20).  Talmud  Avodah Zarah 20b

Teach me, O Eternal, Your Way; let me walk in Your Truth; unify my heart to fear Your Name.” Amen, so may it be His will. Tehillim (Psalms) 86.11

You must not desecrate:  These words (וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ)  also mean, you must not make void.  Because we have a Divine soul we are continuously united with G-d. Dealing with LIFE the physical world can make us antagonistic to this connection.  We may feel like we are estranged from G-d.

Behold, the Hand of the Lord is not too short to save, neither is His ear too heavy to hear. But your iniquities were separating between you and between your God, and your sins have caused [Him] to hide [His] face from you that He not hear.  Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 59.1-2  We must make every effort to ensure this gap does not develop  ( the gap between us and G-d).

And the L-rd Spoke to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe me to Sanctify Me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them: Bamidbar (Numbers) 20.12

Moses and Aaron missed an opportunity to strengthen people’s faith in G-d. People we care about are sometimes hurt by our words or actions and we don’t know exactly what we did to cause such offense. We must make a constant effort to consistently seek opportunities to Sanctify G-d’s Name. We achieve this by always speaking courteously to others, displaying a generally cheerful and happy demeanor, avoiding Lashon Horah (evil speech about others), and providing tokens of kindness that may seem small to us, but make other people’s day and help to affirm their faith and trust in God.  We have an opportunity to sanctify G-d’s Holy Name by constantly examining our actions and words down to the most minute detail. This is a daily struggle for each of us: to recognize the countless opportunities we have each and every day to perform acts of kindness, known in our tradition as kiddush Hashem, sanctification of G-d’s Holy Name.

May we try each day to learn about G-d, to follow His Ways and His Truth

Blessings and Peace

Rebbetzin Revi