Pearls of Rashi – Bechukosai

This week’s Torah portion, Bechukosai, tells us that Hashem will reward us[1] “If you follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them…” The words “follow My statutes” and “observe My commandments” seem to be repetitious; they both mean the same exact thing! Therefore, Rashi cites the words “if you follow My statutes,” and explains that “I might think that this refers to the fulfillment of the commandments. However, when the Torah says ‘and observe My commandments’ the fulfillment of the commandments is (already) stated. So, what is the meaning of ‘If you follow My statutes’? It means that you must toil in the study of Torah.” In other words, when the Torah says to follow in Hashem’s statutes here what it really means is to toil in Torah study.

Many of the commentaries ask how Rashi derives that this refers to toiling in Torah study. Perhaps it refers to studying Torah without necessarily toiling?

The Rebbe explains that Torah study is one of the 613 Mitzvos; hence it could not refer to simply learning Torah. Several words further it says “observe My commands, which includes Torah study. It must therefore refer to one particular facet of learning. Therefore, Rashi explains that it means toiling in the study of Torah; striving, working in order to come to a proper understanding of what the Torah means.

All Mitzvos can be performed according to the “letter of the law.” One can perform the bare minimum requirements and still fulfill his obligation. However, to really be a servant of Hashem one must use all his faculties to carry out G-d’s Will. Granted, by studying one chapter of Torah evening and morning one can fulfill Hashem’s commandment to study. However, that is not enough for one who realizes that Torah is his “reason for being.” It is only by toiling with every fiber of ones being that he expresses his true commitment to Torah.

The rewards listed here begin with[2] “I will give your rains in their time, the Land will yield its produce, and the tree of the field will give forth its fruit…” The rewards are in ascending order. Each promise is greater than the one preceding it. The final reward is that Hashem will[3] “…lead us upright” to the complete and true redemption through our righteous Moshiach. The only way to receive all these rewards is by using our entire being, with all of our strength to serve G-d Almighty!

Wishing one and all a Good Shabbos! May we all receive the Torah with joy, and internalize it within ourselves!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 17, Page 313

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י בני משפחתו שיחיו

[1]. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 26:3.

[2]. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 26:4.

[3]. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 26:13.

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