I've asked a lot of questions about the seemingly inferior position of the Mitzvas of honoring parents in Judaism despite its importance, and this is another one:

The Torah clearly annexes being Kadosh and honoring (revering from) the parents (Lev 19:1):

קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אֲנִי ה"א׃ ...
אישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ ...׃

...You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy. You shall each revere his mother and his father...

Different interpreters explain the concept of being holy differently (for instance, withholding from adultery - " הֱווּ פְרוּשִׁים מִן הָעֲרָיוֹת וּמִן הָעֲבֵרָה," Rashi) but I didn't see anyone defining the evident link between being Kadosh and revering one's parents.

Are there any prominent interpreters that do see the connection, and if there aren't any, why is that so?

  • @JoelK Thank you, that's the closest one. It does not, however, say that by physical honoring one's parents one Zoche to become Kadosh. I don't understand how it works by OH"C - if you feel an urge you picture your father and immediately repent? What about your mother? – Al Berko May 5 '19 at 16:10

If you use Rabbi Micha Berger's approach in his Sefer Widen your Tent, then you will have an answer.

If I can paraphrase it correctly (I doubt that I can):

Kedusha is dedication, specifically -- when referring to Hashem -- dedication to bestowing goodness.

So, to answer your question:

קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ - become people dedicated to bestowing goodness on others

כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אֲנִי - for I am dedicated to bestowing goodness on others (as this is the purpose for which I created the world)


  • Rever your parents; it makes them feel good to be appreciated and honored - especially after all the dedicated kindness they did for you as a kid.

Same for Arayot, which you refer to:

  • Don't cheat on your wife; that's extremely unkind. That takes care of most Arayot, at some level.
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  • Let's take it one by one: 1. Kedusha is dedication - where from? 2. dedication to bestowing goodness - contradicts פרושים מעריות ועבירות - cause it's about סור מרע and not עשה טוב. Also 4. Does it mean one who revers his parents can be called Kadosh? Never heard of. – Al Berko May 5 '19 at 14:39

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