This week’s Torah portion, Bechukosai, begins by telling us that we must “follow Hashem’s statutes, observe His commandments and perform them…” Rashi tells us that “following His statutes refers to toiling in Torah study.” In other words, we must both toil in Torah study and fulfill all of the Mitzvos.
The Torah goes on to say that as a reward for this, Hashem “will give your rains in their time, the Land will yield its produce, and the tree of the field will give forth its fruit…”
In other words, the reward which we are promised is physical; He will provide us with rain, produce, fruit and all of our physical needs. There are commentators who ask about this; why should spiritual work, toiling in Torah study and being stringent in Mitzvah observance, be repaid with physical benefits? We know that Hashem always pays “measure for measure.”
We can explain this as follows. Regarding Torah, we say that “it is our life and the length of our days.” This does not only mean that Torah adds an extra facet to the life of a Jew. It is not merely a part, albeit a significant part, of the Jew’s life. Rather, Torah is the very essence of his life.
This fact is not only expressed in the spiritual life of a Jew; rather it is expressed and influences all of the physical and bodily aspects of a Jew’s life.
From this it is clear, that we cannot say that the only reward for Torah study is attaining high spiritual levels, and achieving great levels of comprehending Hashem. This would not demonstrate the fact that Torah study encompasses every aspect of a Jew’s life. Reward is a natural result of the act which is being rewarded. If the only reward was spiritual, it would mean that Torah is only a part of his spiritual life. The fact that the reward is expressed in physical matters, “I will give the rain of your land at its time …,” demonstrates that Torah permeates each and every aspect of our life.
Through each of us seeing to it that our entire being is permeated with Torah and Mitzvos, may we merit the coming of Moshiach now.
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
DEDICATED BY HIS FAMILY
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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
. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 26:3.
. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 26:4.
. See the Siddur, Evening Service.
. Parshas Aikev, Devorim 11:13.