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Getting Unstuck

By: Ms. Tzipporah Rossman

Parshat Bechukotai opens with a decree of all the amazing and wonderful rewards Hashem will send our way when we follow in the His ways.

“Im b’chukotai telechu v’et mitzvotai tishmoru v’asitem otam”

 It seems that the pasuk is being redundant.  The beginning of the pasuk says “if you travel in my decrees” and then follows with the seemingly parallel “and you follow in my mitzvot and do them.”

Why would the pasuk repeat the same concept in the beginning and in the end? There must be a different meaning to the each part of the pasuk. So what is it?

Rashi explains that “Im b’chukotai telechu” is not talking about following the mitzvoth, but rather about being engrossed in Torah learning.

It is not enough to only incorporate mitzvot in our daily routine, but it is also necessary to set aside time to learn Torah.

The next pasuk is the reward that an obedient Jew, who both follows and learns Torah, will receive. The pasuk states that they will get rain and the land will produce. What is the connection between Torah learning and the land producing food? What does learning and mitzvot have to do with rain and produce?!? Why would that be the reward?

We sometimes just run through our daily lives and do not think about the reasons why we are here. We forget that the whole essence of us being in this world is to be ovdei Hashem- servants of god. These psukim are trying to remind us that there is not a spiritual and physical world; rather it is one in the same. Your spiritual actions affect the physicality of the world, and so too one’s physical actions affect their connection with God. Sometimes, in our lives, things that are seemingly unrelated are actually deeply connected, such as Torah and the land, as well as the spiritual and the physical.

It seems fitting that we read this Parsha toward the end of the year. At the time of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, it is very easy to set goals in Torah and mitzvot, but do we really come along and fulfill them? Towards the end of the year almost many of these goals may have been lost in the day to day craziness and we may have gotten stuck in our bad routines. But then Parshat Bechukotai comes along and reminds us to get back on our paths.

Remember those goals you set in the beginning of the year? Have you fulfilled them?

Shabbat Shalom.




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