The week’s portion Kedoshim discusses the holiness laws, laws of eating a sacrifice, laws regarding planting and harvesting, do not steal, pay your workers on time, judge people fairly, don’t sit still when your neighbor is in danger, do not hate a fellow Jew, don’t take revenge, one is not allowed to crossbreed livestock with other species, one needs to check their clothing to ensure that their garments don’t contain shatnez ( a mixture of wool and linen), men do not cut off their sideburns (hair found on the side of their head), tattoos are not permitted, Sabbath laws, respecting ones elders, the laws of how to treat people who convert to Judaism, do not falsify measurements in your transactions etc., laws of how a parent must treat their children, laws of how an offspring (child) must treat their parents and do not look for advice or direction from mediums and oracles.
Are their laws with whom one could marry or have relations?
One is not allowed to marry a woman and her daughter or a daughter’s daughter because this is incest. More examples are cited in the text. The following examples cited…. Both parties are to be punished through stoning.
A man that commits adultery with a married woman both should be put to death. “Both parties are to be punished through stoning.”
A man that has relations with his father’s wife. “Both parties are to be punished through stoning.”
A man shouldn’t have intimate relations with his daughter-in-law nor with another man.”Both parties are to be punished through stoning.”
“Do not make yourselves disgusting through animals, birds, or other creatures that have been separated from amongst the Jewish People as being unclean”. A woman shouldn’t mate with an animal, bird or other creatures for these are disgusting perversions that defiled the land of Israel. It is because of these above perversions that the land of Israel vomited its previous inhabitants.
Does a farmer have a responsibility for the poor?
Yes, S/He must leave a portion of the ground for the poor. If stalks fell while harvesting they to must be left for the poor. (The story of Ruth… is cited as an example of such practices shown to take place within our history)
Do the laws of Shatnez (mixing of wool and linen) still apply today?
Yes, People in various communities learn the laws regarding clothing. These people examine the clothing and will stamp it to notify others that it is permissible. One doesn’t need to check every item of clothing. If a material has a label that says 100 percent cotton one is ok. It is only the items that have on the label wool and linen. Although, sometimes a material will not have a label or will not carry this information on it. They are commonly found in suits and coats.
Call information and ask for a Shatnaz Lab nearest you.
What are the laws in planting?
In Israel when planting a tree that bears fruit one is not allowed to eat from its first three years. The fruits in the fourth year would be brought during the time of the temple to Jerusalem and eaten. (Maser Sheni)In the fifth year one could eat its fruit in their community.