Let us now explain some of the aspects of "kedusha", meaning "holiness" or "sanctity". There are three different kinds of holiness, five if we include sub-categories. The three basic categories are:
1) The sanctity of the body as discussed in the earlier portion of the Book of Leviticus concerning which the Torah said: "…You are to sanctify yourselves
[v'hitkadishtem]…" (Lev. 11:44)
2) the sanctity of space, as mentioned in the verse "…for the place…is holy." (Ex. 3:5) This has to do with physical separation from others
3) The sanctity of the body is divided into three levels which our Sages have listed and which are dealt with in Reishit Chochma.

Our Sages have spoken about these three categories in terms of, "a beautiful residence, a beautiful wife, and beautiful furnishings develop a man's mind". (Berachot 57) The word "residence" is a metaphor for the heart, the seat of life itself. The word "furnishings" is a metaphor for one's tools. The word "wife" is a metaphor for the holy soul. The Arizal gave these three items a sign by relating them to the verse, "You return man to dust" (Psalms 90:3); he understood the word "to dust", in Hebrew "daka", as an acronym for "residence" [in Hebrew, "dira"], "wife" ["isha"], "furnishings" ["kelim"]. The duty of the heart…is in the sphere of thought and contemplation…

The meaning of all this is that it is the task of man's various limbs, i.e. the tools, with which he performs G‑d's laws to keep the owner away from potentially dangerous situations which might lead him to defile himself. These "tools" must be employed to ensure that man performs the positive commandments as well as to see to it that he refrains from transgressing the negative commandments.

The duty of the heart, the dwelling place, is in the sphere of thought and contemplation. The heart must be the instrument which enables man to achieve the holy of holies, the spiritual elevation he is capable of. There are so many things which the heart has been entrusted with that it is impossible to list them. They include such headings as, "do not hate, do not take revenge, do not bear a grudge, love your neighbor…", to name but a few. There are also innumerable virtues that the Torah tries to teach us. Most of them and their sources in our Torah are listed in the book Chovat Halevavot.

The sanctity of the soul, which is part of G‑d, is to cleave to every mystical aspect of Torah one is capable of. One may then merit the hidden aspects of the process of Creation, and even to part of what is commonly termed "Maaseh Merkava", speculations about procedures in the Heavenly Regions. Achievement of higher levels of sanctity in the three areas mentioned is all included in the directive to sanctify the body. This directive encompasses the entire domain called "the stature of Man", both its visible and its invisible aspects. Every one of our mundane activities thereby assumes a sacred character…

The sanctity of space is a mystical dimension of "honor". The Torah alludes to this when it legislates that most sacrifices have to be offered on the northern side of the altar…

I have also dealt elsewhere at length with, the sanctity of time. The reason why our Sages refer to weekdays in their relation to Shabbat [i.e. "Day One", "Day Two"] is that they wish to exhort us to conduct ourselves every day of the week in such a way that from a spiritual point of view each day represents the essence of the idea of the Shabbat. Once we do this, we cleave to a world which is totally under the aegis of the Shabbat spirit, and every one of our mundane activities thereby assumes a sacred character.

It is this thought that dominates the benediction we recite at the end of the Shabbat when we refer to "G‑d who makes a distinction between the holy and the profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the Gentile nations and between the seventh day and the six days allocated to work". The Gentile nations are the epitome of what is mundane or profane, as explained by Rabbenu Chananel. (in connection with Pesachim 103-104) I have discussed this in connection with the verse, "The fear of the Lord prolongs one's days". (Proverbs 10:27)

The above named three types of holiness, which are really 5, are alluded to in the statement that G‑d gave Israel three gifts: The gift of Torah consists of the three branches of achievement the heart is capable of. The study of all aspects of the Torah leads to the performance of its commandments. The gift of the Land of Israel is identical with the Shabbat concept.

[Translated and adapted by Eliyahu Munk.]