500. "And you shall be holy men to Me" (Shemot 22:30): Rabbi Yehuda commenced, "But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?" (Iyov 28:12). Fortunate are The children of Yisrael as the Holy One, blessed be He, desired to honor them above all mankind. First He said to them, "and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests" (Shemot 19:6). He never removed from them His great love, so much so that He called them, "a holy nation" (Ibid.), considered a more WORTHY STATEMENT. Love was not removed until He called them "For you are a holy people" (Devarim 14:2). He did not remove His love until He called them, "And you shall be holy men (lit. 'men of holiness') to Me," the most worthy statement.
501. It is written, "But where shall wisdom be found?" The Torah emanated from Chochmah from the place called 'holiness,' DENOTING CHOCHMAH. Chochmah emanated from the place called 'Holy of Holies' DENOTING KETER. Rabbi Yitzchak said, So is Jubilee DENOTING BINAH, called 'holiness,' as written, "For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy (lit. 'holiness') to you" (Vayikra 25:12). Yisrael is composed of them, CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, as in the verse; "And you shall be men of holiness to Me."
502. At first, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, called them 'holy,' now He calls them 'holiness.' What is the difference? Rabbi Yosi said 'HOLINESS' is most high, IN CHOCHMAH AND BINAH AS MENTIONED, 'HOLY' is not so, AS 'HOLY' POINTS TO MALCHUT, as it is written, "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem shall be called holy" (Yeshayah 4:3). In this place, ZION AND JERUSALEM, it is called 'holy with the most High; WHEN IN CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, it is called 'holiness.'
503. Rabbi Aba was walking and Rabbi Yosi and Rabbi Chiya went along. Rabbi Chiya spoke, "And you shall be men of holiness to Me" WAS EXPLAINED TO MEAN CHOCHMAH. Whence do we know this? He replied, Rabbi Yosi and all the scholars already said, IT MEANS CHOCHMAH, and it is, because it is written, "Yisrael is holiness to Hashem, the first fruits of His increase" (Yirmeyah 2:3), first being Chochmah called 'first' as it is written, "The fear of Hashem is the beginning of wisdom" (Tehilim 111:10).
504. Now that Yisrael is called 'holiness,' which comprises every perfection, the verse says "Neither shall you eat any meat that is torn of beasts in the field" (Shemot 22:30), as The children of Yisrael are in a state of perfection, they do not nurture from the aspect of harsh judgment, TO WHICH TORN MEAT ALLUDES, "you shall cast it to the dogs" (Ibid.): surely to the dog, which symbolizes insolent judgment to all, so since the harsh judgment dwells upon THE TORN MEAT and inserted foulness within, it is prohibited for those called 'holiness' TO EAT OF IT. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF THE VERSE, "AND YOU SHALL BE MEN OF HOLINESS TO ME, NEITHER SHALL YOU EAT ANY MEAT THAT IS TORN OF BEASTS IN THE FIELD," SO WE SEE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE PROHIBITION OF TORN MEAT AND PEOPLE OF HOLINESS. But "you shall cast it to the dogs" where insolent judgment and harsh judgment apply as the verse says "The dogs are greedy" (Yeshayah 56:11).
505. Come and see, when the Torah mentions 'a thing that dies of itself,' it refers to Yisrael as holy, not holiness. It says here "And you shall be men of holiness to me, neither shall you eat any meat that is torn of beasts in the field." There, with regard to a thing that dies of itself, it writes "You shall not eat of any thing that dies of itself, you shall give it to the stranger who is in your gates...for you are a holy people" (Devarim 14:20) - 'holy' and not 'holiness.' A thing that dies of itself is caused by one of Yisrael, IT BECAME SO FROM AN IMPROPER SLAUGHTER BY ONE OF YISRAEL, SO THAT it became forbidden to be eaten because of Yisrael. SO THE LAW IS NOT SO STRINGENT; HOWEVER WITH THE TORN MEAT THAT IS REJECTABLE DUE TO BEING RIPPED BY WILD BEASTS, THE LAW IS MORE STRINGENT, SO DISTANCE FROM TORN MEAT IS CALLED 'HOLINESS,' FROM ANY THING THAT DIES OF ITSELF IS CALLED 'HOLY.' There are other shades of meaning in relation to a thing that dies of itself, as we explained.
506. Rabbi Shimon said, It is written here, "And you shall be men of holiness to Me." It is written there, "For you are a holy people to Hashem your Elohim." HE ASKS, Why does it write; "to Hashem your Elohim" instead of "to Me." HE ANSWERS, the verse here speaks about the ultimate high, NAMELY OF CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, while there, it refers to the Shechinah NAMELY MALCHUT SO IT WRITES "TO HASHEM YOUR ELOHIM" AS MALCHUT IS REFERRED TO AS ELOHIM. It is written, "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem shall be called holy," rather than 'holiness,' because here IN MALCHUT ALSO CALLED ZION AND JERUSALEM is considered 'holy,' while above IN CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, we say 'holiness.' It is also written, "Yisrael is holiness to Hashem, the first fruits of his increase (Heb. tevuatoh)" (Yirmeyah 2:3), the word 'tevuatoh' written with an EXTRA Hei, HINTING ABOUT BINAH BEING THE FIRST 'HEI' OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, AND FIRST ALLUDES TO CHOCHMAH, AS WE ESTABLISHED, therefore "And you shall be men of holiness to me."
507. Rabbi Yitzchak was sitting before Rabbi Shimon. He said to him, it is written, "Yisrael is holiness to Hashem," and the end of the verse reads, "All that devour him shall be held guilty." What does it mean? Rabbi Shimon replied, it speaks well when it says, "All that devour him shall be held guilty," as there is a verse, "And if a man eat of the holy thing (lit. 'holiness') unwittingly..." (Vayikra 22:14) and there is a verse, "No stranger shall eat of the holy thing (lit. 'holiness')" (Ibid. 10). Since Yisrael is called holiness, it follows that "all that devour him shall be held guilty." Rabbi Yitzchak kissed his hand, said, If I came only to hear this, it is worth it.
508. RABBI YITZCHAK said to him, Rabbi, we learned that 'holiness' is considered higher than 'holy.' If so, there is a verse, "Holy, holy, holy is Hashem Tzva'ot" (Yeshayah 6:3), which expresses perfection, AND YET IT IS WRITTEN 'HOLY.' He said to him, come and see, when you enjoin THREE 'HOLY' together, it becomes one house, and this house is called 'holiness,' being the sum total of the three 'holy,' THUS BECOMING TOTAL PERFECTION. As a result, 'holiness' is a generalization that includes all; when Yisrael incorporates within the total Faith, they are called 'holiness,' which is the sum of all, as it is written, "Yisrael is holiness to Hashem." Hence it is written, "And you shall be men of holiness to Me."
509. A legionnaire, NAMELY A GENERAL, asked Rabbi Aba: Is it not written, "Neither shall you eat any meat that is torn (Heb. terefah) of beasts in the field?" Yet there is a verse, "He has given food (Heb. teref) to those that fear Him" (Tehilim 111:5). Teref should go to dogs, why does it say "to those that fear Him?" He replied, fool, does it write "He has given terefah to those that fear Him?" "Teref" is written MEANING SUSTENANCE. And even if you say Teref is the same as Terefah, assuredly He gave it "to those that fear Him." THE MEANING CONVEYED IS THEY SHOULD BE CAREFUL OF IT AND NOT EAT IT, AND WHAT IT MENTIONS means that none can be careful in this, save those who hold His name in awe, who fear Him; and that is why this law was not given to you, as He knows that you do not revere Him nor keep His commandments. This law is considered one of the difficult laws of the Torah, and requires care, He gave it to those that fear Him and not to others. And all difficult matters of the Torah, the Holy One, blessed be He, gave to those fearing sin, these that are careful TO KEEP His commandments, not to you.