This week in Torah

Parashah 32 Behar

May 28, 2022 – Bechukotay (In my statutes) – Parshat 33

  • Torah: Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34
  • Haftara: Jeremiah 16:19-17:14
  • Brit Chadasha: Matthew 16:20-28

אִם־בְּחֻקֹּתַ֖י תֵּלֵ֑כוּ וְאֶת־מִצְוֺתַ֣י תִּשְׁמְר֔וּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָֽם׃

I’m-bechukotay telechu ve’et-mitsvotay tishmeru va’asitem otam.

If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments,

The coming rest: Last week, in Torah portion Behar, we saw the seven year cycle of the sabbatical (Shmita) year, as well as the Yovel, the Shavua of years known in the Talmud as “Shavua sheben David” (“seven years of David”) when the Reign of Mashiach will be ushered in.

This week we see the theme continued in Bechukotay, as the Torah describes the blessings for obedience to the instruction for our covenant with Him. It starts out with the call to observe the commandments, and lists abundant produce of the land, safety and security, shalom – perfect peace, where you will rest without fear, and no vicious beasts or sword will trouble you. These are all descriptions that the Neviim (prophets)used to describe the Malchut Shabashamyeem (Kingdom of Heaven (Adonai)) or the millennial reign spoken of in the Yovel last week.

The only time when we all will keep the Torah perfectly, and in righteousness, is when the Messianic age is come and Mashiach teaches it perfectly. Yermiyahu HaNavii (Jeremiah the prophet) says of this time;    And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

And again Yermiyahu says; “Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name by which he shall be called: the LORD our righteousness. Therefore, behold, the days come, says the LORD, that they shall no more say, As the LORD lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As the LORD lives, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries where I had driven them. They shall dwell in their own land. (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

Even the beasts of the earth are influenced by the Ruach of HaShem and His Mashiach, and righteousness becomes the way of all living things during the Yom Mam’lakhah (days of the Kingdom)

The Ramban says of this: I will banish evil beasts from the land. According to Rabbi Yehudah’s view that the evil beasts will cease from the world (Toras Kohanim), the verse is interpreted according to its plain meaning: Vicious animals will not enter their land. This is because there will be satiation and an abundance of goodness. As a result, the cities will be heavily populated, so the animals will not enter civilized areas. Rabbi Shimon’s view is that they will be prevented from causing harm. Accordingly, the verse means to say, “I will banish the harm of beasts from the land,” and this is the correct interpretation. This is because when the people of Israel keep the commandments, Eretz Yisrael will be as the world was in the beginning, before the sin of Adam, the first man. At that time, no beast or creeping creature would kill a person, as the Sages said (Berachos 33a): “It is not the arod (poisonous reptile) that kills; rather it is sin that kills.” This is reflected in the following verse as well (Yeshayahu 11:7-8): “And a cow and a bear shall graze together … and a lion, like cattle, shall eat straw. And an infant shall play over the hole of a viper.” The tendency of vicious animals to prey [on humans] came only because of Adam’s sin, for it was decreed upon him to be the prey of their fangs.

Only when Mashiach returns will abundance and peace rule and reign, because the source of all strife and sin will be eliminated during the rule of Messiah Yeshua. He has made a way for us thru His perfect sacrifice as our Cohen HaGadol – great high priest. And by His righteous merit we shall see our rest and redemption in the full as our Kinsman Redeemer brings us into our inheritance with Him.

As we say at the conclusion of each book of the Torah … “Chazak! Chazak! Venichazeik! (be strong! be strong! and may we be strengthened!) until His coming beloved, especially thru the trials hold on to the promise of Mashiach Yeshua!

Shalom Mish’pachah from Beth Hallel Lodi