Behar-Bechukotai 5775–Shabbat Torah Study–The Value of a Person

Among the interesting aspects of this week’s Torah reading is the ability of an individual to pledge their value to the Sanctuary. Vayikra 27:1-8.

The question is how does one determine the “value” of a person?

Obviously, a person of wealth has more value than one without, right? An educated person has greater value than one who lacks a degree, right? A person who is delightful to behold would certainly be worth more than one not so resplendent, right?

No, that is horribly wrong.

In the eyes of the Almighty, there is no distinction in human value based on such things. The essential value of a person is not in what they have, but in their boundless potential and what they do with it.

The Torah expects that each of us will try to live to our maximum potential. We are not evaluated in comparison to anyone else. We are evaluated based on our own potential, progress toward achieving it and personal growth.

The Torah speaks to the value of a person in “shekel hakodesh” their “holy weight” in silver. When we recognize the potential in others and do not think of anyone as being better or more valuable than anyone else, we bring a holiness that is worth more than any silver or gold.

This Shabbat we are privileged to learn with Rabbi Herbert Yoskowitz. Beginning at 9:45 a.m., we will complete our study in time for the sermon. Come as you are. Stay as long as you like.

Shabbat Shalom,


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