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June 16, 2019

Archive for May 10, 2014

BeHukotai (In My Statutes) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

BeHukotai

Leviticus, 26:3-27:34

This Week’s Torah Portion | May 4 – May 10, 2014 – Lyar 4 – Lyar 10, 5774

In A Nutshell

The portion, BeHukotai (In My Statutes), deals primarily with the topic of reward and punishment for the children of Israel according to their behavior—whether they follow the ways of the Creator. It is written, “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and do them” (Leviticus, 26:3). The portion begins with presenting the reward: “Then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit” (Leviticus, 26:4). Opposite that is the presentation of the punishment: “But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments” (Leviticus, 26:14), “I will appoint terror over you: the tuberculosis and the malaria,” (Leviticus, 26:16), and the worst punishment of all—exile.

If the people of Israel repent, the Creator promises to remember the covenant He has made with them and forgive them. It is written, “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God” (Leviticus, 26:44). The portion ends with additional laws concerning vows, ostracism, tithing, and others.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

The issue of reward and punishment was not presented at the beginning of the Torah because it is impossible to understand it unless you are able to make free choice. Without this ability it is pointless to instructions on this issue. First you must learn the laws and judgments. Then, if you keep them you will be rewarded, and if not, you will be punished. You cannot punish in advance. First one needs to reach the spiritual degree of shifting from unfounded hatred to brotherly love, to “love your neighbor as yourself,”[1] which is the whole Torah. This is the way we must walk: we must correct our evil inclination and turn it into a good inclination through the light that reforms[2], by studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, the wisdom of light.

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Glossary – BeHukotai (In My Statutes) – Weekly Torah Portion

Reward

Reward is what a person wants to have. You cannot give a person something that that person does not want. A reward is the thing that one desires. It is a good execution of the thing toward which that person would like to advance. That person cannot be elsewhere because he or she is correcting the desire. The execution itself is the reward, as it is written, “The reward of a Mitzva (commandment)—Mitzva.”[9] The reward of a Mitzva (commandment) is to know the Metzaveh (commander). To know means to connect, as it is written, “And Adam knew his wife again” (Genesis, 4:25).

Punishment

Punishment is the opposite of reward. It is what a person neither wants nor likes. It is a degree where a person understands that progress is rewarded, and the opposite of that is the punishment. The reward and punishment are not egoistic, where a person does something and receives the reward elsewhere.

Fear

Fear means being afraid of failing to correct. Everything happens due to our effort and request of the light that reforms to come and correct us. It is possible that we did not work sufficiently in order to draw it.

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