Kedushah

June 20, 2006

[pl. “Kedushot”]; Two related meanings:

1) holiness; a fundamental concept of Judaism. The basic meaning is separation from the “general” and dedication to the “particular,” as in the “Kiddushin,” betrothal, of a “kallah,” a bride, to her “chasan,” or groom. In this context, she dedicates herself to him exclusively, out of the population of all the men in the world, as he in turn promises to her absolute loyalty and protective concern. Similarly, the concept applies to time, as in the Holy Day of Shabbat and the Chagim, as well as to place, as in the Holy Land. It also applies to language, as in the Holy Hebrew Language, called so because it is the language of the Torah, it has no profanity, and among many other reasons, it is more than a set of symbols, as for example, the word “light” in English is merely a symbol for the real phenomenon of light, whereas the Hebrew word for light, “ohr,” partakes, somehow, of the very essence of light. It applies to nations, as the Jewish People is called “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

2) a section of the Jewish Prayers when in the midst of the repetition of the Central Prayer by the Leader of the Prayers, the Congregation assumes the role of the angels and praises G-d with the three-fold repetition, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the L-rd G-d of Hosts! The Whole World is Full of His Glory!”