Parashat Bechukotai // “My Laws”

- ל א ו -

What is Israel’s unique destiny?

God’s vision for a model society

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid” Leviticus 26:3 – 6

  • “If you will follow my statutes” (Leviticus 26:3) is not just a conditional phrase. It is also an affirmation. Every individual must find their personal journey. In other words, we all need to find our own unique spiritual work. The Hebrew word bechukotai (בחוקותי, lit. “in my statutes”) evokes the word chakkuk (חקוק, “engraved” or “carved”). God’s statutes are the important aspects “carved” into our hearts – the deep and personal expectations we all hold dear. When we live according to these statutes, divine blessings are sure to rain down upon us.
  • “If you will follow my statutes” (Leviticus 26:3) is a call to act collectively. It’s not enough if only a few people undertake a joint mission. We must all work together. This enormous responsibility is unprecedented in the history of any other nation. For better or for worse, the Israelites have a common destiny – to strive for good, freedom, and justice, live a spiritual life, and become a model society.

Individuals impact military and spiritual victories

“And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword” Leviticus 26:7 – 8

  • A single person’s contribution on the battlefield is not just technical. We must never underestimate the impact of the individual – because the power of a few can far transcend any numerical value. The same can be said about the spiritual realm. When an individual dedicates their life to spiritual growth, their influence grows exponentially. By positively affecting those around us, we can motivate them to do the same – and so on.

Pearls of Divine Wisdom: “My Laws”

  • If we let our thoughts lead us astray, chaos and lack of providence will ensue. We must always remember what is truly important.
  • Spiritual progress gives meaning to our lives. Only after we free ourselves from our ego and material desires can we develop a clear perspective and know how to act and grow.
  • Every individual must find their personal journey. In other words, we all need to identify our own unique spiritual work. The word bechukotai (בחוקותי, lit. “in my statutes”) is close to the word chakkuk (חקוק, “engraved”). The Torah implies that we need to follow the personal laws carved into our hearts.
  • We must not work separately. Instead, we should face our common fate – for better or for worse.
  • The power of the few pious far transcends their numerical value. If we dedicate our lives to spiritual growth, our influence will expand exponentially.

Spiritual progress requires hard work; thoroughness means leaving no stone unturned