Parshas Bechukosei

Parshas Bechukosei

(Based on Zera Shimshon Bechukosei pg. 78)

If you follow My laws, observe My mitzos and perform them, 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.(Vayikra 26/3-4)

On these pessukim the Medrash comments:

These pessukim can be explained according to the possuk (Tehilim 119/59) “(Dovid HaMelech said) I thought about my ways, and I returned my feet to Your testimonies.” (The Medrash explains) Dovid said, “Master of the Universe, everyday I thought about what to do and I decided to go to a certain place or to a certain house. However in the end my feet brought me to Your Synagogue or to Your Bais Medrash.”

Zera Shimshon asks what did the Medrash find difficult in the possuk that it brought a different possuk to explain it?

Secondly, what does it mean that Dovid initially thought to go other places and only in the end did he go to the synagogues and to the bais hamedrash? Why didn’t he think to go there in the first place?

He explains that the Medrash was bothered by the following inconsistency in our parsha. When the Torah speaks of the consequences of not going in Hashem’s way it begins “And if you despise My laws and if you reject My ordinances…”. The “if” before “you reject” implies that to despise My laws doesn’t automatically bring to rejection of Hashem’s ordinances. They are two unrelated behaviors.

On the other hand when the Torah speaks of the reward for going in Hashem’s way it says “If you follow My laws, observe My commandments and perform them…” This implies that to follow Hashem’s laws directly leads to the observing of the mitzvos. What special quality is there in “following Hashem’s laws” that directly brings to observing His mitzvos?

The Medrash answers, explains Zera Shimshon, that the key to understand this is found in Dovid.

A king has countless responsibilities which leads to great pressure and tension. This state isn’t healthy for a person and therefore Dovid initially thought he needs “to get away” to revitalize and regain his strength. He reasoned that to do so would be performing the mitzvo of “You should watch yourself very well” and (Mishlei 22/5) “Thorns [and] traps are in the way of the perverse; he who preserves his soul will distance himself from them.

After contemplating this, though, he returned to the Bais Medrash for two reasons. Firstly reasoned that learning Torah guards and saves a person (Sotah 21a). Suffering and anguish is removed from a person who is involved in learning Torah (Berachos 5a).

Secondly, there was even a stronger reason. The Torah that Dovid learnt became such a part of him that his physical body itself felt that davvening in a synagogue and learning in Beis Medrash revitalized him to the same degree as going to a spa!

We can now understand how “following My laws” directly brings to “observing My mitzvos.

Rashi explains “following my laws” means to labour and work hard to understand the Torah.

Therefore, concludes, Zera Shimshon, the Medrash learns from Dovid that the Torah that one learns can became a part of him to such a degree that the Torah itself impelled him to go to Bais Medrash to heal himself. To heal oneself is important like keeping all of the mitzvos (Like we find that pikuach nefesh overrides all other mitzvos) . Therefore, we can understand that when we toil in Torah, the Torah that we learn can become an integral part of us and will also impel and cause us to do the mitzvos!

This d’var Torah is dedicated to Beracha Bas Menucha Shaina. In the merit of the learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai Torah, Hashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun
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