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A Kiss is Just a Kiss

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Topic: Kissing the Torah

Eric Posnack wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I always enjoy reading your email and have been passing it on to some of my friends. I think it's great that you are taking advantage of the Internet to reach out to so many people. Here's my question: One thing has always bothered me in services. It's the touching of the Torah with the prayer-book and kissing the prayer-book afterwards. This strikes me as a form of idolatry. It appears to be worshipping the Torah as an idol and we're instructed by the Torah not to do that. How is this act not idolatry? Thanks again for your many emails, and I look forward to your response.

Dear Eric Posnack,

A kiss is a way of expressing love and affection, not only a means of worship. When a father kisses his child it does not mean he worships him. We love the Torah, as it is our way of maintaining closeness to Hashem, Therefore we express our love in the earthly manner we are used to, such as kissing, in order to encourage our feeling of love towards Hashem and the Torah.

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