Parasha Inspiration – Bechukotai

וְאַף גַּם־זֹאת בִּֽהְיוֹתָ֞ם בְּאֶ֣רֶץ אֹֽיְבֵיהֶ֗ם לֹֽא־מְאַסְתִּ֤ים וְלֹֽא־גְעַלְתִּים֙ לְכַלֹּתָ֔ם לְהָפֵ֥ר בְּרִיתִ֖י אִתָּ֑ם כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶֽם: וְזָֽכַרְתִּ֥י לָהֶ֖ם בְּרִ֣ית רִֽאשֹׁנִ֑ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר הוֹצֵֽאתִי־אֹתָם֩ מֵאֶ֨רֶץ מִצְרַ֜יִם לְעֵינֵ֣י הַגּוֹיִ֗ם לִֽהְי֥וֹת לָהֶ֛ם לֵֽאלֹהִ֖ים אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָֽה: אֵ֠לֶּה הַֽחֻקִּ֣ים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים֘ וְהַתּוֹרֹת֒ אֲשֶׁר֙ נָתַ֣ן יְהֹוָ֔ה בֵּינ֕וֹ וּבֵ֖ין בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל בְּהַ֥ר סִינַ֖י בְּיַד־משֶֽׁה:

But despite all this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them to annihilate them, thereby breaking My covenant that is with them, for I am the Lord their God. I will remember for them the covenant [made with] the ancestors, whom I took out from the land of Egypt before the eyes of the nations, to be a God to them. I am the Lord. These are the statutes, the ordinances, and the laws that the Lord gave between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses.

Leviticus 26:44-46

This week’s Torah portion completes the book of Leviticus. In it, Hashem outlines all of the good things that will happen with Israel if Israel follows Torah. It also outlines everything that will befall the children of Israel should the children of Israel not follow Torah. The worst of these disasters is the exile.

Hashem proclaims that we will be removed from our land. We will be forced to live among our conquerors. And we will know sorrow and pain because of our disobedience. And yet, Hashem finishes this section with an assurance. Hashem will neither despise nor forsake Israel, his chosen people. He will remember for us the covenant made with our ancestors. In short, he will rescue us from exile as he rescued us from the house of Egypt, the house of bondage.

This promise, made by Hashem, has sustained to Jewish people throughout the centuries. In times of unthinkable tragedy, the hope, Hatikvah, has kept us moving forward. The Jewish people have remained steadfast in the knowledge that one day we will be taken from the galut, in return to the land of the promise, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We will be led by Yeshua our Messiah. Shabbat shalom.

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Rabbi Steven Bernstein

Steve was born on Lag B’Omer in Ann Arbor, MI but was raised in Gainesville, FL. The son of two University of Florida professors, he excelled in the sciences in school. In addition to his normal academic studies, he pursued his Jewish education studying with many Rabbis and professors of Judaic Studies from the University including visiting Rabbis such as Abraham Joshua Heschel and Shlomo Carlebach.