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A14. Aspiring to God's Perfection & Holiness.    [Make a Comment]

We are to aspire to God's perfection & holiness.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Leviticus 11:44-45
For I am ADONAI your God; therefore, consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; and do not defile yourselves with any kind of swarming creature that moves along the ground. For I am ADONAI, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy.

Leviticus 19:2
Speak to the entire community of Isra'el; tell them, 'You people are to be holy because I, ADONAI your God, am holy.'

Leviticus 20:7-8
Therefore consecrate yourselves - you people must be holy, because I am ADONAI your God. Observe my regulations, and obey them; I am ADONAI, who sets you apart to be holy.

1 Peter 1:15-16
On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; since the Tanakh says, "You are to be holy because I am holy."

Supportive Scriptures

Leviticus 22:32-33
You are not to profane my holy name; on the contrary, I am to be regarded as holy among the people of Isra'el; I am ADONAI, who makes you holy, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am ADONAI.

Deuteronomy 7:6
For you are a people set apart as holy for ADONAI your God. ADONAI your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure.

Ecclesiastes 7:20
For there isn't a righteous person on earth who does [only] good and never sins.

Matthew 5:48
Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Romans 6:19b
For just as you used to offer your various parts as slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led to more lawlessness; so now offer your various parts as slaves to righteousness, which leads to being made holy, set apart for God.

Ephesians 1:4
In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence.

Hebrews 12:14
Keep pursuing shalom with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.


At first impression, Matthew 5:48 (Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect) and Leviticus 11:45 (Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy) seem highly presumptuous and even blasphemous. As God's creation, we are so far below His holiness and perfection - how can we even think of being holy and perfect as He is? Yet, we are commanded to be holy and perfect, so somehow it is possible even though it seems impossible in light of our spiritual imperfections.

The answer is suggested in Leviticus 22:32: "I am ADONAI, who makes you holy ..." In other words, we cannot aspire to holiness and perfection in our own power; we have to receive it from God Himself, and realize that for us it is a never-ending goal rather than one that we will achieve during our lifetime. In the Mosaic Covenant, the Israelites pursued holiness through repentance and the prescribed Tabernacle (later Temple) sacrifices. In the New Covenant, we are made holy by being one with Yeshua, "the Holy One of Israel". Only through his blood sacrifice can we be made holy and aspire toward perfection, for we read in 1 John 1:9:

If we acknowledge our sins, then, since he [Yeshua] is trustworthy and just, he will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.

Commentary by Dr. Daniel C. Juster

This Mitzvah refers to a heart orientation and not literal perfection in this life.

Classical Commentators

This Mitzvah is not addressed by any of the Jewish classical commentators.


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