Acharei Mos-Kedoshim: Practicing these principles...

by Twerski, Rabbi Dr. Avraham (See all authors)

The Torah says, "You shall not do as the Egyptians do, from whose land you left, nor as the Canaanites do, to whose land you are entering."

What can this mean? There are already 365 specific prohibitions. What is the Torah referring to?

There are many permissible activities, which a Jew is required to do as part of one's service to Hashem. Eating because one is hungry and sleeping because one is tired are not uniquely human activities. Animals do these things as well. A Jew should direct all one's activities to Hashem. I.e., eating because one needs the nourishment to serve Hashem, sleeping to be adequately rested so that one can serve Hashem. Earning money and even procreation can be directed to the service of Hashem.

This is what the Torah means. The Egyptians and Canaanites did not direct their non-religious activities to God. Jews should be different. King Solomon said, 'Know God in all your ways" (Proverbs 3:6). Bill Wilson echoed this in Step 12, "To practice these principles in all our affairs."