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Dvar for Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34)

Parshat Bechukotai begins by Hashem (G-d) proclaiming, “if you will walk in My decrees and observe My commandments…” (26:3), then 1) the rains will come in their season, 2) trees will bear fruit, 3) you will have bread, 4) there will be peace in the land, and 5) a sword will not pass through the land. Rashi (noted commentary) explains that “walking with My decrees” means that we should toil in understanding the decrees of the Torah. Although Rashi addresses the seemingly incorrect syntax of “walking” in laws, Rashi doesn’t explain how walking/toiling in the Torah is accomplished, nor does it explain how the rewards correlate to the toiling or performance of the commandment (a common rule throughout the Torah).

A possible explanation could be a metaphoric reference to walking, telling us that it’s not enough to sit back, read the Torah like a book, rather that we should pace and ponder every bit of the Torah, and never be satisfied with not knowing what, how, or why something is done. So why does the Torah list THESE specific rewards for making an effort to understand the Torah? Well, don’t just sit back and read this Email, ponder the question…