Friday, May 30, 2008

Bamidbar 5632 First Ma'amar

This week’s parsha records the census of the nation of Israel that was conducted after the completion of the Mishkan. What was the purpose of this census? What was its significance? The Sfas Emes explains that the census teaches us that each person is unique and has a unique mission to accomplish for God. In fact, the Sfas Emes teaches us that this is a person’s raison d’être.

How can we know what our unique mission is? Although each person’s mission is unique, all the individual tasks lead to a common goal. There is a general purpose that guides us. The general meta-purpose is alluded to in the first Midrash on the parsha.

The Midrash quotes a pasuk in Tehillim, “צִדְקָתְךָ כְּהַרְרֵי־אֵל מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ תְּהוֹם רַבָּה .../Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains; Your judgments are like the vast deep …” The Midrash says that this pasuk is a metaphor for the abodes of the righteous and the wicked. The righteous believe that God is with us even in this physical world. Their abode is revealed. The wicked do not believe that God sees their actions. Their abode is concealed.

The Chiddushei HaRim explains that the Midrash is teaching us that the entire world is in fact only a metaphor for a spiritual reality. How we, who are living in the metaphor – the physical world – experience the spiritual reality, is directly dependent upon our beliefs and consequent actions. To the extent that we internalize the belief that all existence is from God and desire to experience Him, essentially to reveal Him in everything, we experience Him and He is revealed to us.

This concept applies equally to the wicked who lack this faith. They believe they can do evil and no one sees as the prophet Yeshayah laments, “הוֹי הַמַּעֲמִיקִים מֵה׳ לַסְתִּר עֵצָה וְהָיָה בְמַחְשָךְ מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ מִי רֹאֵנוּ וּמִי יֹדְעֵנוּ/Woe to those who try to hide deep down to conceal counsel from God, and their deeds are done in darkness; they say, ‘Who sees us, and who knows of us?” Correspondingly, God is not revealed to them. The truth is kept from them as we find in Iyov, “וְיִמָּנַע מֵרְשָׁעִים אוֹרָם .../Light is withheld from the wicked.”

A pasuk in Yeshayah bears out this concept, “אוֹ יַחֲזֵק בְּמָעוּזִּי יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם לִי שָׁלוֹם יַעֲשֶׂה־לִּי/If (Israel) would grasp my stronghold, then he would make peace with Me, peace would he make with me.” Why the redundancy? The Sfas Emes understands that the word שָׁלוֹם/peace in this pasuk connotes שְׁלֵימוּת/completeness. The physical can be considered “complete” to the extent that its spiritual underpinnings are revealed. A metaphor is incomplete, meaningless really, unless it relates to the object that it describes. We relate the physical world to the spiritual by believing that it is there. This is a two step process whereby we first recognize the spiritual within the physical so that the physical is then elevated to be more spiritual. It is “completed.”

The idea of elevating the physical to its spiritual roots explains why the Torah mentions the date and place of God’s instruction to Moshe regarding the census. Time and space represent the physical world. Although Torah is beyond time, God’s primary desire is for us to draw the light of the Torah and holiness into time, into the physical thus elevating the physical to its spiritual roots.

This explains our meta-purpose in this world. From this definition, there is the danger of concluding that everyone should do exactly the same thing, that there is no room for individualism. The census taught us that although our general goal is the same, each person’s task leading to that goal is different. Each person had, and has today, a unique role that no one else can fill. We can each relate to God through our own unique actions.

How do we know, though, what our unique path and role is? The Sfas Emes explains that to the extent that we cultivate the belief that our individual actions are important and have ramifications that reach the highest spiritual realms to God Himself, as it were, we can merit understanding our place, role and unique mission. May we merit it!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bechukosai 5632 First Ma'amar

This week’s parsha begins with, “אִם־בְּחֻקֹתַי תֵּלֵכוּ .../If you follow my statutes …” The pasuk cannot be taken literally because the very next words already enjoin us to keep the commandments, “... וְאֶת־מִצְוֹתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ .../… and you keep my commandments …” Chazal understand, therefore, that the Torah is instructing us to toil at learning Torah. Why, though, do Chazal say that the pasuk is teaching us to toil at learning Torah and not simply to learn Torah? What is the significance of toiling?

To answer this question we first need to understand what is meant by toiling. What do Chazal mean when they refer to laboring at Torah? The Sfas Emes explains that when God has hidden Himself we need to toil. When God reveals Himself, by definition, things are clear and easy. There is no toil when we are close to God. Toiling means accepting and believing even against the evidence of our senses.

The Sfas Emes applies this definition to learning Torah. We learn Torah, not for the purpose of gaining new knowledge or reaching greater heights. Rather we are required to learn in order to reach greater and greater levels of subordination to God. We study until we reach a point at which we do not understand. We do not understand because God has concealed Himself. If He were revealed to us, we would understand. Even though we do not understand, and the subject matter may fly in the face of our logical faculty, we are nonetheless required to accept and believe. Accepting as truth that which we do not understand is the height of toil. In the act of submission, we merit understanding. Then we learn deeper and reach a new level at which God conceals Himself and we do not understand. And the cycle continues.

The Sfas Emes understands this cycle from the first Midrash in the parsha. The Midrash quotes a pasuk in Tehillim, “חִשַּׁבְתִי דְרָכָי וְאָשִׁיבָה רַגְלַי אֶל־עֵדֹתֶיךָ׃/I considered my ways, and returned my feet to Your testimonies.” The Midrash says that David HaMelech is telling God, “Each day, I considered and said that I am going to a specific place, a specific house and my feet take me to synagogues and study halls.”

What is the significance of this? What does David HaMelech mean? The Sfas Emes explains that this Midrash is teaching us something very deep. All the components of the physical world enclothe a spiritual Godly life-force. When David HaMelech says that he considers each day going to a specific place, a specific house, he is referring to the physical activities and things that are a physical home, so to speak, to the Godly life-force. The Midrash uses a metaphor of synagogues and study halls to describe the Godly life-force because synagogues and study halls include everyone within them just as the underlying spiritual life-force “includes” all the different and disparate physical components in the world. Although there are many different physical manifestations of the Godly life-force, the life-force itself is always the same. The prophet Zecharia, in fact, calls man a “מְהַלֵךְ/walker” because man goes from place to place, from activity to activity, in order to reveal God’s life-force.

David HaMelech is saying that each day he uses his intelligence to contemplate that even though he performs physical activities, there is a spiritual reality that underlies those activities. In the words of the pasuk, “… my feet return me to Your testimonies.” David HaMelech clarified, in his own mind and told others as well, that everything is from God, that there is more to the physical world than meets the eye.

The Midrash is teaching us that the way to reveal God’s life-force is by first contemplating this very idea before every action, by considering that the action that God’s life-force inheres in the action that I am about to do. This is using one’s intelligence to subordinate that very intelligence to something unseen and undetected.

This is what Chazal refer to as toil. This toil applies to every aspect of life. Applying it to learning Torah, it is a cycle of learning, not understanding, subordination, revelation, etc. May we merit toiling at learning Torah.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BeChukosai 5636 Second Ma'amar

וָאוֹלֵךְ אֶתְכֶם קוֹמְמִיּוּת/I led you upright.” Rashi, quoting Chazal, explains that they left Egypt with an upright stance – בְּקוֹמָה זְקוּפָה. Walking erect connotes a sense of pride. In fact, Chazal explain further that we left Egypt walking uprightly and we were not afraid of anyone. Although the pasuk is referring to the Exodus, this is a forerunner of every future redemption.

This seems to contradict a different saying of Chazal, though, that in order to have proper awe of God, we may not walk upright because, as the prophet Yeshaya said, His glory fills the entire world. Walking with pride shows a lack of awe for God’s glory. How can we reconcile these two concepts? How can we walk uprightly, with a sense of pride when relating to the world but still feel God’s presence and be in awe of Him?

Chazal give us a clue in the previous pasuk, “וְהִתְהַלַּכְתִּי בְּתוֹכְכֶם/I will walk among you.” Chazal explain that in the future, God will walk among us (i.e. we will feel His presence) and yet, we will not tremble. Even though we will not tremble, Chazal tell us that we will still be in awe of God as the pasuk continues, “וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵא-לֹהִים/I will be your God.” We see that it is possible to feel God’s presence, be in awe of Him and yet not to tremble. In fact, in another place Chazal teach us that we were created this way. Chazal tell us that one of the ways in which we are comparable to angels is that we walk erect. In the ideal world, we should be able to be in awe of God and still walk uprightly. The Sfas Emes explains, however, that since nowadays we are not yet in the ideal world, because of the distractions of this world, the only way to have proper awe is by physically acting out complete subservience.

Chazal are promising us that there will come a time when we will be so completely rectified that we will be able to accept upon ourselves the yoke of heaven, feel God’s presence and be in awe of Him without the need to manifest this awe by physically showing total subservience (i.e. a bent posture.) God Himself testifies that we were on this level when we left Egypt – “I led you out with an upright stance.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Behar 5632 First Ma'amar

The Zohar teaches that God used the Torah to create the world. The Zohar is teaching us that the Torah is much more than the physical scrolls that is its physical manifestation. The Torah is a powerful spiritual entity that Chazal metaphorically refer to as “fire.” Since God created the world through the Torah and keeps it in existence continually, it follows that God’s life-force permeates the entire Creation.

This life-force, though, is not apparent in the Creation. The Creation itself acts as a barrier that hides the Godly life-force. When we look around us, we see the physical world, not the spiritual life-force underlying it. Our mission, the Sfas Emes teaches us, is to search and find the light of the Torah in all things. How can we do this?

The Midrash in this week’s parsha teaches us through metaphors on the following pasuk in Mishlei, “מָוֶת וְחַיִּים בְּיַד־לָשׁוֹן .../The tongue (i.e. speech) has the power of death and life …” How does speech have the power of death and life? Speech represents the life-force within us because we use our breath to speak. Breath, the Torah tells us, is life, “וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים/He blew the breath of life into his nostrils.”

The power of life and death, means the power to reveal or hide the Godliness that is within everything. The Midrash compares this to blowing or spitting on coal. When we blow on a coal, if flames up while spitting on it extinguishes it. The flame in the coal is a metaphor for the spiritual within the physical in this world. When we acknowledge the spiritual within us we can recognize the spiritual in everything. The spiritual within the physical is then revealed. In the words of the metaphor, “Blowing on the coal causes it to flame.”

If, however we do not recognize the spiritual within us, we cannot recognize the spiritual in the physical world around us. Again, in the words of the metaphor, “… spitting on the flame, extinguishes it.”

The Midrash also compares the power of life and death – the power to reveal or hide the Godliness within the physical world – to eating food that has been tithed or not tithed. Eating food before it has been tithed is death through the tongue. Eating food after it has been tithed is the power of life through the tongue.

The Sfas Emes explains the significance of this allegory. Tithing our food to fulfill God’s commandment is a way of expressing our belief that the food, and by extension everything, is from Him. The acknowledgement that the food is from God, reveals the Godliness inherent in the food. Food that is not tithed can be viewed as being wrapped in a shell preventing its spiritual life-force from being experienced.

May we merit acknowledging the Godliness within us and as a result the Godliness that permeates the entire world. Amen!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Behar 5636

At the end of parshas Behar we find, “כִּי־לִי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים עֲבָדַי הֵם .../For the children of Israel are servants to me; they are my servants…” Why the repetition? The Sfas Emes explains that first God chooses the children of Israel. Then, the children of Israel choose God by accepting upon themselves the yoke of heaven. This idea is clearly the meaning of two p’sukim in parshas Ki Savo, “אֶת־ה' הֶאֶמַרְתָּ הַיּוֹם/Today you have made God unique.” In the next pasuk we find, “וַה' הֶאֱמִירְךָ הַיּוֹם/And God has made you unique today.”

The Sfas Emes teaches that there is a continuum of acceptance ranging from no acceptance at all to complete acceptance. He alone rules over us to the extent that we subordinate ourselves to Him. We find this concept earlier in this week’s parsha. The pasuk states, “כִּי־עֲבָדַי הֵם ... לֹא יִמָּכְרוּ מִמְכֶּרֶת עָבֶד/For they are my servants … they will not be sold like slaves.” These very same words, “עֲבָדַי הֵם/they are my servants” appear in the pasuk referred to earlier. This pasuk ends with a prohibition against selling a Jew on an auction block in the fashion that slaves are sold, “לֹא יִמָּכְרוּ מִמְכֶּרֶת עָבֶד/ they will not be sold like slaves.” The Sfas Emes teaches us that this prohibition is also a promise. To the extent that we subordinate ourselves to God, we will not be subject to the rule of others. We find this idea in Pirkei Avos as well, “Whoever accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah, the yoke of government is removed from him.” According to the Sfas Emes, this is not all or nothing, black or white. Rather, to the extent that we accept the yoke of Torah, the yoke of government is removed.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Emor 5632 Third Ma'amar

It is customary to recite one chapter of Pirkei Avos after mincha on each Shabbos between Pesach and Shavuos. This Shabbos we recite the second chapter in which we find, “יָפֶה תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה עִם דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ שֶׁיְּגִיעַת שְׁנֵיהֶם מְשַׁכַּחַת עָוֹן/Learning Torah is better with a worldly occupation because the exertion of both cause sin to be forgotten.” In a mishna in the third chapter we find, “ כָּל הַמְקַבֵּל עָלָיו עוֹל תּוֹרָה מַעֲבִירִין מִמֶּנּוּ ... עוֹל דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ/The yoke of … a worldly occupation is removed from whoever accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah” This seems to contradict the first mishna. If accepting the yoke of Torah causes the yoke of a worldly occupation to be removed, then it is apparently better not to have both. Yet the first mishna states that it is better to occupy oneself with both. How can these two mishnayos be reconciled?

The different wording of the two mishnayos indicates that they are referring to different aspects of Torah learning. The first mishna refers to תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה/learning Torah whereas the second mishna refers to עוֹל תּוֹרָה/the yoke of Torah. What is the difference between learning Torah and the yoke of Torah? The Sfas Emes explains that there are two types of Torah learning. We learn Torah in order to know how to act, how to fulfill the mitzvos. We also learn Torah in order to subjugate our desires and will to that of God. We accept the Torah’s teaching even when it conflicts with the results of our own thought process.

The first mishna is referring to learning Torah in order to know how to act and fulfill the mitzvos. The Sfas Emes understands דֶּרֶך אֶרֶץ/a worldly occupation as broadly referring to all physical activities.

What exactly is meant by “learning Torah with physical activity”? Mitzvos, and by extension all physical activity, are potentially holy. They are tools that we can use to draw holiness into the physical world. All holiness derives from the Torah. When we fulfill mitzvos, or perform any physical activity, intending thereby to achieve God’s will, we transform mundane physical activity into something holy. We are then using the physical activity as a means for revealing its spiritual essence. So, we learn Torah in order to know how to act. Then we act with the intent that our actions are fulfilling the will of God.

This is not a simple task since our physical eyes see physical actions. We do not see the potential for holiness. The Zohar, in fact teaches us that striving to draw holiness into this world through the mitzvos cannot be attained lightly. It requires hard work. The mishna calls this work “יְגִיעַת שְׁנֵיהֶם/exertion of both of them. The mishna calls achieving this unity, “תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה עִם דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ/learning Torah with physical activity.”

The second mishna refers to the yoke of Torah and the yoke of physical activity. What does the Tanna mean when he speaks of the yoke of something? A yoke is a burden. The Sfas Emes explains that a burden means a barrier separating us from God. Revelation, the removal of the barrier, can be defined as the removal of the burden.

The yoke of physical activity, then, means that the physical is acting as a barrier preventing us from experiencing God. When the barrier is removed, we experience God in the physical world and no longer feel a burden.

The yoke of Torah, according to this understanding, means that the Torah itself acts as a barrier between us and God. The Torah is a barrier when we reach a point in our learning of not understanding – a point at which there is a conflict between the result of our own thought process and the teaching of the Torah. It is a burden because it is difficult to accept that which defies our understanding.

It is at that level that God is hidden from us. It is at that level that we are nevertheless required to accept, to subordinate our own intelligence to that of the Torah, of God. When we do this, God reveals Himself helping us to understand so that we can then delve deeper and reach a new level at which we do not understand. Then our work is to bear the burden of the new deeper level.

When we choose to accept upon ourselves the yoke of the Torah – to accept the burden of subordinating our own intelligence to that of the Torah – then God removes the barriers presented by the physical world. As Chazal taught, “The yoke of the physical is removed from the one who accepts the yoke of Torah.”

Why is this so? The purpose of the barrier is to hide God so that we have space in which to function and grow. But the person who accepts the Torah, even that which he does not understand, has chosen his own barrier. He has raised the bar to a higher level. The physical barrier is no longer necessary. It is therefore removed. This is what Chazal mean when they say, “בַּטֵּל רְצוֹנָךְ מִפְּנֵי רְצוֹנוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּבַטֵּל רְצוֹן אֲחֵרִים מִפְּנֵי רְצוֹנָךְ/Subordinate your own will to His so that He may subordinate the will of others to yours.” “The will of others” here refers to the reality of the physical world. When we accept the yoke of Torah, subordinating our own will to God’s, we are given the ability to see beyond the physicality of the world around us and to experience the presence of God.

May we merit learning Torah to know what to do and learning Torah as a means of coming close to God.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Emor 5632 First Ma'amar

Parshas Emor begins with the laws of purity of priests. Something which is pure is not mixed with anything else. When we say that gold is pure, for example, we mean that it contains nothing but gold. When we say that a person has pure intentions, we mean that his actions have no ulterior motives. The priests’ service in the mishkan exemplifies serving God with purity. How can we serve God with purity? What technique can we apply in order to serve God with no ulterior motives?

The first Midrash on this week’s parsha addressing this question brings the pasuk in Tehillim, “אִמְרוֹת ה' אֲמָרוֹת טְהֹרוֹת .../God’s sayings are pure sayings…” אִמְרָה/Saying” alludes to the ten מַאֲמָרוֹת/sayings with which God created the world. The Sfas Emes explains that the saying itself gives existence to the Creation. The creating power of God, through the saying, is hidden within the creation. It follows that the saying is the source of purity within everything. To stress the point, the beginning of this week’s parsha, dealing with the laws of purity of priests, repeats the word “say.” אֱמֹר אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם .../Say to the priests the children of Aharon and say to them…” The redundancy is glaring.

The repetition is significant and gives us a clue as to how we can attain purity in our own actions. A similar repetition in parshas Ki Savo sheds light on our parsha. In parshas Ki Savo we find, “אֶת־ה' הֶאֱמַרְתָּ הַיּוֹם/Today you have made God unique.” In the next pasuk we find, “וַה' הֶאֱמִירְךָ הַיּוֹם/And God has made you unique today.” Chazal explain that the nation of Israel made God unique by declaring, “שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ ה' אֶחָד/Listen Israel, God is our Lord, God is One.” God made Israel unique by declaring, “מִי כְּעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל גוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ/Who is like your nation Israel, one nation on earth.” When we consider a relationship to be unique, we mean that there is a special connection that we have that excludes all others. The relationship is pure in the sense that it applies to one and to no other. Considering God unique to us is the essence of pure service. We reject all others. We reject our own desires and we subjugate ourselves to the will of God. The word used for “unique” in these p’sukim has the same root as “אִמְרָה/saying.”

In parshas Ki Savo we learn how to attain a level of pure intentions in serving God. There is a two step process in attaining purity. First God brings us close to Him. He makes us unique among the nations. Then, we accept this closeness and make Him unique. Instead of following our own desires, we will follow only His. This is the essence of purity. To the extent we subordinate our own desires to God’s we become pure.

The Torah contains other examples of this two step process in reaching a level of pure intentions in our actions. Each example serves to clarify the process so that we are better able to apply it to our daily lives.

The first example is the relationship between the Exodus and the mitzvah of counting the Omer. First God brought us close to Him by bringing us out of Egypt. Our subservience to Him was a natural reaction to the miracles and revelation which we witnessed. In addition to freeing us from our bondage to the Egyptians, He freed us from our bondage to our own desires and subjugated us to Him. Then, during the period of Sfiras HaOmer we accepted His closeness, quelled our own desires in favor of His and our worship became pure. How does Sfiras HaOmer indicate accepting God’s closeness and purity of worship?

The Kabbalists teach us that we have seven primary (emotional) midos/characteristics. Each week of the seven weeks of Sfiras HaOmer relates to one of these midos/characteristics. During the fifty day period after God took us out of Egypt we worked on perfecting our midos/characteristics in preparation for the giving of the Torah. Every year since, the period of Sfiras HaOmer is especially conducive for this task. In fact, purification is one of the reasons for the mitzvah of Sfiras HaOmer. The prayer following Sfiras HaOmer begins, “Master of the Universe, You commanded us … to count Sfiras HaOmer in order to purify us …”

A second example of the two step process in attaining pure intention is found in the relationship between Shabbos and the days of the week. On Shabbos, God is more manifest in the creation. It is easier to focus only on God. God brings us close to Him on Shabbos so that after experiencing Shabbos, we can draw that special revelation into the week.

Finally, the redundancy at the beginning of our parsha, as well, alludes to this process. אֱמֹר/Say” connoting connection and purity, suggests that God brings us close to Him. We are a unique nation unto God. וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם/And you will say to them” suggests that we accept His closeness in everything that we do and in our desires. He is unique to us. To the extent that we accept God in our actions, our motives become pure.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Kedoshim 5632 First Ma'amar

This week’s parsha begins with and exhortation to be holy, “קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ/Be holy.” We live in a very physical world and we ourselves are very physical beings limited and governed to a large extent by the needs of our bodies. We are so removed from holiness which implies a separation from the physical. How, then, can we become holy?

The answer, the Sfas Emes says, is based on the realization that everything physical is only a façade for the spiritual. Even the mitzvos which we conventionally think of as holy, are fundamentally only physical activities. What makes them holy? They are holy only because God, through the Torah, commanded us to perform them. They are mentioned in the Torah and all holiness in this world derives from the Torah.

Holiness is not that apparent in this world. But God wants us to be aware that holiness is hidden within the physical world. The mitzvos are God’s hints to us that there is holiness here in this world. The prophet Yirmiyahu makes this point when he says, “הַצִיבִי לָךְ צִיֻנִים/Place signposts for yourself.” Chazal explain that the signposts to which Yirmiyahu is referring are the mitzvos. They are signposts in that they point us in the direction of holiness. They hint to us that there is something more to the physical world than meets the eye.

We find this differentiation between the mitzvos as signposts and the Torah as the source of holiness in a Midrash explaining “קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ/Be holy.” The Midrash cites a pasuk in Tehillim, “יִשְׁלַח־עֶזְרְךָ מִקֹּדֶשׁ וּמִצִּיּוֹן יִסְעָדֶךָּ/He will send your help from the holy (sanctuary) and support you from Zion.”

The Midrash understands the word “from” in this pasuk as meaning “because of” or “as a result of.” צִיוֹן/Zion, can be read, “צִיוּן/signpost.” The pasuk can thus be translated as, “He will send your help because of the holiness within your actions and will support you because of your signposts.” As we’ve said, all holiness derives from the Torah. This includes the holiness within our actions. The signposts are the mitzvos. The Midrash is therefore teaching us that the way to get help from God is by recognizing that there is holiness within the mitzvos that we fulfill. Getting help from God, of course, is another way of saying God’s revelation, or revealing holiness in the physical world.

In fact, the Zohar calls the mitzvos advice. The mitzvos are God’s advice to us as to how to draw the holiness of the Torah into this world. By performing the mitzvos with the understanding that they “contain” the holiness of the Torah and with the desire to reveal that holiness, we attach to the holiness and become holy ourselves.