Kedoshim - Creating a Legacy

Towards the beginning of the parshah there is the verse:

Every man shall fear his mother and his father, and you shall observe My Sabbaths. I am the L-rd, your G-d.
Vayikra 19:3

It is a very interesting placement for this statement. Immediately following the over-arching commandment to "You shall be holy" (19:2), and looking on a wider scale, this verse is positioned at the heal of the previous parsha, the list 'araiot' - the forbidden relationships.

What is the connection to fulfilling the commandment to 'be holy' and why should this fall so close to the long and detailled list of forbidden relationships?

Connection Between Temptation and Parents
The Orach HaChaim HaKadosh addresses this issue. First he notes that there is a special connection between our parents and the temptations that we face. He brings the example of Yosef HaTzadik when he faced his key test, remaining strong against the advances of the wife of Potifar. The Gemorah in Masechet Sotah (36B) explains that Yosef had a vision of his father at this moment. In the vision, Yaacov says to Yosef that in the future there will be a breast plate.

Yosef's Vision
And she caught him by his garment, saying etc.  At that moment his father's image came and appeared to him through the window and said: 'Joseph, thy brothers will have their names inscribed upon the stones of the ephod and thine amongst theirs; is it thy wish to have thy name expunged from amongst theirs and be called an associate of harlots?' (As it is written: He that keepeth company with harlots wasteth his substance.) Immediately his bow abode in strength20  — R. Johanan said in the name of R. Meir: [This means] that his passion subsided. And the arms of his hands were made active  — he stuck his hands in the ground so that his lust came out from between his finger-nails. 'By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob'  — Who caused his name to be engraven upon the stones of the ephod but the Mighty One of Jacob? 'From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel'  — from there was he worthy to be made a shepherd, as it is said: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest like the flock of Joseph.
Sotah 36B

The Orach HaChaim HaKadosh explains that the great legacy that Yosef is known for, having resisted the temptations of the wife of Potifar, was inspired by the vision of his father.

Envision Your Parents
Here this is how he explains the significance of the verse in our parshah, that the positioning of this verse is meant to provide us a source of inspiration in our lives, and in our struggles. That we should use the vision and memory of our parents to strengthen ourselves in the ongoing battle against temptations - hence the closeness of this verse to the list of illicity relationships.

Become the Vision
However I would take this a step further. Just as the vision and memory of our parents can impact our own lives, so also we can look the other way towards our children, the next generation, and we should be particular about our own conduct. For the actions and decisions that we take and make in our lives, can serve as an inspiration and impact the generations to come. Instead of just emulating Yosef in his strength, we can strive to become the vision of Yaacov that inspired Yosef.

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