The Trait of Separation | Part One

SEPARATION IS THE BEGINNING of Saintliness. Up to this point we have concerned ourselves with the requirements for righteousness. From this point on we shall discuss the requirements for Saintliness. It is to be observed that Separation bears the same relationship to Saintliness as Watchfulness does to Zeal, the first element in each set concerning itself with departing from evil and the second with doing good. The rationale of Separation is epitomized in the words of our Sages of blessed memory (Yevamoth 20a), “Sanctify yourself through what is permitted to you.” This is the signification of the word “separation” itself i.e. separating and withdrawing oneself from something, forbidding to oneself something which is permitted.

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