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Walk the Walk

By: Ms. Avichayil Arfe

Based on Rabbi Ressler's The Weekly Dvar

In the middle of Parshat Behar, the Torah implores us to "perform the laws without logical explanations, the laws with logical explanations we should keep, and we should also perform them..." (25:18). The Torat Kohanim, which is brought down in Rashi (26:3), clarifies the reason why the verse uses different terms; explaining that it's not enough to just perform the mitzvot, but we also have to live them. It goes on to explain that if a person just performs the mitzvot without learning more about them, they will end up doing less, and could result in resenting those who do more. Without understanding reasons behind doing mitzvot, a person may not feel the need or want to perform them. It would then make sense that we're commanded to keep the commandments that have reasons, and learn about the reasons, as well as performing and doing those that we don't understand.

But if we turn to the very first pasuk of Parshat Bechukotai, the Torah adds a new requirement, stating that we should "walk in Gd's laws." What does that mean, and how does that fit into this understanding? 

Rav Nachum Zev gives an example and explains that when a group of people are sitting, you can't tell if one of those people can't walk. It's only when that person gets up and walks away that you can tell. The same is true with Jews keeping the Torah's laws. The way to really tell if we are keeping the commandments is by the way we "walk" in the world. It's critically important to follow the Torah's rules, and to understand them. But the final charge is that when we're faced with everyday trials, tests and temptations, we don't give in to temptations. Rather, we maintain the Torah standards, and walk the true walk of life. 

Shabbat Shalom





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