Kedoshim – Shlishi

Shave and a Hair Cut, Two Bits

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

When the Jews enter the land, they will plant trees. The fruit of trees may not be eaten for three years. The fruit of the fourth year is holy like maaser sheini (the “second tithe,” which had to be eaten in Jerusalem, as we shall see in parshas Re’eh, Deut. chapter 14). The fruit from the fifth year and on is normal.

A sacrifice may not be eaten before its blood has been sprinkled on the altar. We may not base our actions on superstitions or irrelevant omens. (A “relevant omen” would be simple deductive reasoning, like Eliezer used to find an appropriate wife for Yitzchak in Genesis chapter 24 or Jonathan used to test his enemies in I Samuel chapter 14.)

Also forbidden: shaving the corner of the head (“payes”), using s razor on the beard, tearing one’s flesh as a sign of mourning and tattooing. Extramarital sex is also prohibited, as is consulting oracles and mediums. (This says nothing as to whether or not these sorcerers have any abilities; presumably, they’re frauds, but don’t consult them anyway.)

Respect elderly people and scholars, standing up for them when they enter the room.

Download Audio File