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Bechukotai - When God’s blessings are within our grasp


* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

We are always in need of blessings, but especially now. The weekly Torah portion of Bechukotai begins with a series of wonderful blessings. True, a serious rebuke appears later on and yet there is much that is comforting and promising in the first 11 verses of the parasha. These verses follow below, each preceded by a short contextual or clarifying note:

Everything depends on making the proper choices. “If you follow My statutes and keep My commandments and fulfill them”

Keeping God’s commandments leads to rain, growth of crops, and fruitful trees: “I will provide your rains in their proper time. The earth shall give forth its produce and the tree of the field shall give forth its fruit.”

In a similar fashion, you will be rewarded with immense harvests and permanent homeland security. “[Because of the abundant produce] threshing will overtake the grape harvest and the grape harvest overtake the [time to] plant, and you will eat your bread to satiation and you will live securely in your land.”

And you will enjoy a life of peace. “I will grant peace in the land; you will lie to sleep without fear. I will banish evil beasts from the land, and no sword shall pass through your land.”

With victory over your enemies. “You will pursue your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword.”

Despite being heavily outnumbered: “Five of you will pursue one hundred and one hundred of you will pursue ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.”

You will then have many children: “I will turn to you to make you fruitful and multiply, and establish My covenant with you.”

And more than enough to eat from year to year: “You will eat the old [store] long kept and the old [store] you will have to clear out because of the new.”

With my Holy Temple in your midst: “I will set My Sanctuary among you and My spirit will not reject you.”

And perpetual closeness between us: “I will walk among you and I will be a God for you, and you will be My people.”

Reminding you that I am Your Redeemer from slavery into a glorious future: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt from where you were slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and led you forth standing upright.”

So what does the future hold? Everything that any one of us could ever desire. And the good news is that our future rests in our own hands. We need to do the right things, and be worthy of God's blessings.


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