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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Kedoshim Haikus

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

This parsha is rich in mitzvot; fertile ground for mitzvot between one human and another.

It was a challenge to find just one mitzvah to write about, so I thought that doing a series of Haikus would give a better sense of the wide variety mitzvot written about. Full disclosure, these Haikus don't include the illicit sexual relationships or the laws of sacrifice. We will leave that for a different volume.

Many thanks to Elana Gerson, Ellen Krueger, Cheryl Vogel, Sheryl Ishai, Marcy Hoban, Lesley Marks-Hershey and Rachel Maman for the extra bonus of their Haikus!!!!

So, now that we have done some, is there anyone who would like to add a Haiku to this post?

Kol Tuv,


PS Today is the 18th day of counting the Omer.


What sets you apart

Your actions raise you higher

Souls swell, grow and rise


Words noisily spew

out in the air to be heard.

be honest, be true


Cut away edges

grapes, wheat, barley, rye and oats

the bag weighs heavy


Be true with others

Look a worker in the eye

Stand behind your words

Stumbling Blocks

They are everywhere

Some are seen and others not

Keep the pathway clear

Judge Fairly

Young, old, poor and rich

Keep your eyes set straight ahead

Scales even and true

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Take care of yourself

The world is full of others

Magnify the love

Bearing a Grudge

Grudges weigh heavy

upon our thoughts and our words

Your heart should be light.

Do Not Turn to Ghosts

When things seem hopeless

Call upon friends, family

Answers here on earth

Orlah (waiting to eat fruit)

Apples, dates, figs and orange

Five years til' fruit is eaten

Patience for sweet fruits


Blood, red, full of life

Runs thickly through heavy veins

Never once tasted

Payot (Corners)

Who would ever have thought

that corners play such a role?

Take care where you snip

Wronging Strangers

Be fair, just and kind

Wrongs cascade outward quickly

Kindness elevates

Rise Before the Aged

Pick up your head, smile

Stand tall, look them in the eye

The old deserve it.

You Shall Be Holy

Are we set on high,

a worthy nation of priests

different from the rest?

Using Honest Weights

Be true about weight

I said I wanted a pound

Don’t cheat your brother

by Cheryl Vogel

Revering Parents

How to get it done?

Revere mother and father.

By just words and deeds.

by Ellen Krueger


Holy Holy

In the fourth year

HaShem's fruits

by Sheryl Ishai


Because I said so.

Sit and rest on the Sabbath.

And call your mother.

by Elana Gerson

Leviticus 18:19

Turn the other cheek.

Is that a Jewish value?

Apparently so.

by Elana Gerson

Leviticus 19:3

Why even bother?

They're just cheap imitations

I am all you need

by Elana Gerson

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Sometimes it's so hard

Treating my neighbor with love

Breathe, be humble, try.

by Sheryl Ishai

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Like a River flows

So shall love touch all beings

As one loves oneself

by Marcy Hoban

Loving all beings

It takes just an open heart

As one loves oneself

by Marcy Hoban

Loving all beings

The rewards can be endless

As one loves oneself

by Marcy Hoban

Be humble and just

Apply judgement in fairness.

Poor and rich alike.

by Lesley Marks Hershey

The heart of Torah -

You shall be holy for I

the Lord am Holy

by Lois Lieff

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