Kavod: Respect/Honor - Kavod means recognition, dignity and honor. Many of us seek honor from others. We recognize ourselves for who we are based on how others see us. While it is perfectly healthy to need recognition and attention, we should be able to have a realistic self-confidence in who we are that does not rely on whether or not we are honored by others. In fact, kavod actually grows from our awareness of our own inner kedusha/holiness. That is the starting point. And yet most of us would not use the words, “holy” to define ourselves. Most of us also do not even think we can achieve holiness so we don’t even try to walk down that path. If we do want to understand Kavod, we need to open our hearts to sense that holiness does exist in the world, and can exist within us.


Guided meditation on Kavod (Sheila Peltz Weinberg):


"The Weight" by Dan Bellm on parshat Terumah:

Posters and Banners:
Congregation Beth El
  1. February Kavod Main Poster: February Kavod Main Poster.pdf
  2. February Kavod Conversation Poster: Feb Kavod Conversation Poster.pdf
  3. February Kavod Banner. Artist: Laura Segel .
    honor banner small.jpg
    honor banner small.jpg
Congregation B'nai Keshet

D'var Torahs

Video D'var Torah on Yitro and Kavod by Rabbi Judith Halevy:


משנה סנהדרין ד:הלפיכך נברא אדם יחידי ללמדך שכל המאבד נפש אחת [מישראל] מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו איבד עולם מלא וכל המקיים נפש אחת מישראל מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו קיים עולם מלא ומפני שלום הבריות שלא יאמר אדם לחבירו אבא גדול מאביך ושלא יהו מינין אומרים הרבה רשויות בשמים ולהגיד גדולתו של הקדוש ברוך הוא שאדם טובע כמה מטבעות בחותם אחד וכולן דומין זה לזה ומלך מלכי המלכים הקדוש ברוך הוא טבע כל אדם בחותמו של אדם הראשון ואין אחד מהן דומה לחבירו לפיכך כל אחד ואחד חייב לומר בשבילי נברא העולם
Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5 (submitted and translated by Rabbi Sam Feinsmith at Chicagoland Jewish High School)
Therefore, humans were created singly, to teach you that whoever destroys a single soul, Scripture accounts it as if he had destroyed a full world; and whoever saves one soul, Scripture accounts it as if she had saved a full world. And for the sake of peace among people, that one should not say to his or her fellow, "My parent is greater than yours;" and that heretics should not say, "There are many powers in Heaven." Again, to declare the greatness of the Holy One, blessed be God, for one stamps out many coins with one die, and they are all alike, but the King, the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be God, stamped each person with the seal of Adam, and not one of them is like his or her fellow. Therefore each and every one is obliged to say, "For my sake the world was created."

Avot 4:1 Ben Zoma teaches, “Who is Honorable? One who honors all others"

Focus phrases (crafted by Rabbi Sam Feinsmith):

  • I have infinite value
  • I am unique
  • You and I are equals

Lesson plans:

Kavod - Chicagoland Jewish High School Middot Minyan Lesson Plans

General Material:

  1. Congregation B'nai Jacob Powerpoint
  2. Congregation B'nai Kesher - Kavod
  3. Chochmat Halev
    1. KAVOD story
    2. KAVOD Aug 2013
    3. KAVOD.doc
    4. Kavod.docx
  4. JCC of San Francisco
    1. Kavod
  5. Congregation Har Hashem
    1. Agenda for Chug Session 3 Right Speech
  6. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
    1. Each human being is created in the divine image. Kavod/Respect is how we treat a being made in the divine image—including ourselves. And it is often helpful to begin with ourselves. Most of us want to be respected, honored, treated with dignity. We grow angry when we feel that we are treated disrespectfully, when we are slighted. The best way to address that is to build a feeling of our own kedushah/holiness.
      We are all holy! Kadosh kadosh kadosh Adonai Tzeva’ot, melo kol ha’aretz kevodo, we recite in theKedushah prayer. There is a direct connection between the holiness of the divine (and all of us made in the divine image) and the fact that kavod/honor is the fullness of the divine presence. Imagine a Paradise in which we all treat one another with respect and honor, as if we recognize the divine spark in the other.
      In the practice of this middah, some of us find it helpful to chant “Kadosh…melo kol ha’aretz kevodo” for a few minutes in the morning, reminding ourselves that all of us are made in the divine image, noticing the kavod of each person, each being.
      Other suggestions:
      Once each day, choose a 30-minute period and in that period do what you can to honor anyone who comes your way.
      Do one thing each day that demonstrates kavod for yourself
  7. Temple Beth Sholom
    1. Bulletin article: kavod bulletin article
    2. Parent-child PPT: KAVOD
  8. Temple Ohabei Shalom
    1. Blog post on Kavod
  9. Temple Sholom
    1. Blog Post for Kavod: The Tikkun Middot Project: Kavod: Honor and Respect
    2. Handout to staff and board on Kavod Kavod (Dignity Honor) Board Handout
  10. The New Shul
    1. Distancing from Honor
    2. Here is an picture in our Jewihs News of our Slam Champion Edith Cox.
  11. Westchester Jewish Community Services
    1. Kavod