Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh

21 Feb 2013


Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh, Hashem TZevakos Meloh Chol Haaretz Kvodo – Holy, Holy, Holy is the G-d of Hosts that fills the entire world with His honor.
This is one of the most well known verses in Jewish liturgy. We recite it three times each weekday morning – before the Shema, during the Kedushah, during Uvah Letzion, twice on Shabbat morning, and again at Shabbat Mincha. It is a prophecy revealed to Isaiah mentioned in Isaiah 6:3. When reciting Kadosh…we emulate the angels in heaven and praise G-d with this phrase.
The Vilna Gaon indicates that kadosh stated three times is to emphasizet how great and distant G-d is from our
understanding – similar to the way we refer to G-d as Melech Malchei Hamelachim – The King of kings.
The Targum – Rav Yonason ben Uziel explains that the three mentions of Kadosh indicates that G-d is Kadosh on Earth, G-d is Kadosh in the heavenly upper worlds, and G-d is Kadosh for all eternity; from the beginning of time until the end of time.The word Kadosh literally means sanctified and separate. When the Torah states Kedoshim Tihiyu – You shall be holy –Rashi teaches that it means you shall be separate. It therefore follows that the Kiddush we recite on Shabbat separates the Sabbath day as holy above and beyond the days of the week. When a couple gets married, it is called Kiddushin –because it creates a union/relationship between husband and wife that separates them as a single unit from the rest of the world. They have a holy bond with each other to the exclusion of every other person on the planet. When one would dedicate a gift to the Holy Temple in its time – it was called Hekdesh – Holy – because it was separated to be offered as a holy offering.
G-d is also separate. We don’t begin to understand Him. The only way we understand His will is through the Torah He
presented unto us. Without it, we would not know how to live, behave, and relate in His world.
Perhaps a deeper message within this verse is that when relating to a human being in person, the more distant he/she
is, the less his presence is felt. G-d, despite a lack of physical presence, fills up the entire universe with His spiritual
being/honor. Everywhere we turn, we can find G-d; in nature, in each other, in history, and in our destiny – every day in every way, He is there. Our job is to perceive Him, emulate Him, and appreciate Him in the best that we can.
Despite G-d’s holiness/separation, the Psalmist writes, Hashem Tzilcha Al Yad Yiminecha – G-d is your shadow on your right hand side. May we merit to notice, acknowledge, and benefit, in this world and the next, from the Kedushah of Hashem.