There is no Pope in Judaism.
I’m sure you didn’t need me for that!
But there’s more to it.
What a Pope represents doesn’t exist in Judaism.
… The closest we may have ever come?
Was probably the High Priest in the Temple. The Kohain Gadol.
He preformed the special Yom Kippur service.
What did he need to qualify for the position?
Some things are obvious.
Like living by the Torah.
Fulfilling his obligations to G-d. And to other people.
And doing chessed. Acts of kindness.
He needed to be on the highest spiritual level.
… But he had to have one more thing.
Something not so obvious.
He needed to have a wife!
An unmarried man could not be the Jewish High Priest.
It’s not so hard to see why a single man may not qualify.
Because even though every person can have a meaningful spiritual life?
And can have a deep relationship with G-d?
Our tradition also teaches that certain levels of spirituality can’t be reached alone.
Can only be reached through marriage.
But what about a widower?
He may have had a long, happy and special marriage.
Reached the highest spiritual levels.
Can he be the High Priest?
He had to have a wife!
… It’s a very important message. A very Jewish message.
If the Jewish High Priest did not have a wife?
There’s a mistake people might make.
People may get the impression that celibacy is the ideal.
That not being married is being really holy!
And that’s a chance the Torah was not willing to risk.
Because it goes against the Torah’s idea of holiness.
Against the Torah’s whole approach to life.
Holiness is not about withdrawing from the physical world.
It’s about being part of the physical world. Enjoying the physical world.
And elevating it!
All the best,