BeHar/Be’Chukotai – Lev. 25:1-26:2/26:3-27:34

As the Torah Turns

Rabbi Lader’s Weekly D’var Torah

BeHar/Be’Chukotai – Lev. 25:1-26:2/26:3-27:34

This week, we have another

double portion – BeHar/Be’Chukotai – Lev. 25:1-26:2/26:3-27:34, which will bring us to the conclusion of the book of Leviticus.  In his book Day by Day: Reflections on the Themes of the Torah from Literature, Philosophy, and Religious Thought, Rabbi Chaim Stern notes that [Lev. 26] promises a time of security, peace, and prosperity for those who follow God’s laws and are faithful to God’s commandments.  And yet… in the midst of times when things do not go so well, Rabbi Stern teaches that “… we are wise to count our blessings and to live with gratitude in our hearts.  That, too, is faithfulness.” (p. 219) During these challenging times, it is too easy to see what we don’t have… what we cannot do… Rabbi Stern reminds us, in the midst of difficulties, to open our eyes and our hearts to see and to feel the joy and thankfulness of our blessings… of what we do have… of what we can do.  The Radziminer Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Guterman, Polish Chassidic rabbi (d. 1934), said:  We cross an ocean and are rescued from a shipwreck, so we give thanks to God.  Should we not thank God as we cross without mishap?  I am cured of a dangerous illness and recite a thanksgiving blessing.  Should I not give thanks that I am well and preserved from illness? (p. 223) As we navigate our way through the question mark of these days, may we find blessing in being able to make our way through to each new morning… May we find blessing with each new opportunity to reach out to a friend… May we find blessing with each new possibility in the songs of the birds and the budding of the leaves and flowers around us. And… as we come to the end of another book of Torah, we say, “Chazak, Chazak, v’Nit’Chazek! – Be strong! Be strong! And let us strengthen each other!”  Now, more than ever!

From Previous Weeks

Emor – Lev. 21:1-24:23

Our Torah portion this week is ‘Emor – Lev. 21:1-24:23.  We read about specific rules for Aaron, his sons, and future generations…

Read More