Overflowing With Blessings

June 9, 2016

 

 

 

 

This week's Torah portion, Bechukosai, opens with G-d's promise of physical well-being and security to the Jewish people. If the Jewish people are to follow the commandments, G-d will ensure that they are not lacking in any way.

 

The Midrash interprets these verses to refer to the messianic era, and elaborates on the miracles that will take place at that time. Fields will produce grain on the same day that they are sowed, and women will give birth on the day that they conceive. The entire natural order of the world will be altered, and the lion will lie with the lamb.

Of course, the purpose of our future redemption is not in order to live the good life, but rather, it will be a time of G-dly revelation. At the present moment, people are preoccupied with petty issues, when Moshiach arrives, our world will become G-d oriented. Now, our world seems devoid of G-dliness, and Moshiach is the process by which the G-dliness that is in the world becomes revealed. When Moshiach comes our lives will become G-d oriented, as our priorities and interests will adapt to the new reality of the world.

 

If so, the question arises: why is there such an emphasis on the miracles that will make everyday life more convenient? Why would people who are focused on G-d care about material rewards that are promised at that time? It is the equivalent of offering an adult a child's toy as a reward! These blessings seem to be misplaced!

 

This question can be applied more broadly as well. Our portion is discussing the current day, and G-d is promising physical and material bounty for Jews who obey the commandments. One may ask: is this the reward that we should be pursuing? Is the true reward for keeping the mitzvos a life of material comfort?

 

The matter can be explained by way of illustration. Imagine receiving, quite unexpectedly, good notifications. Hearing good news ordinarily brings a smile to your face, or maybe even evokes a laugh. Yet, if the news is really great news, such as winning the lottery, you find yourself dancing with joy.

 

The same is true with bad news. Usually, you are able to contain your worries, doubts and fears inside. But sometimes, you are so worried and upset that it is written across your face, and everyone can tell that something is the matter, just by looking at you.

The reason for this is quite simple. Ordinarily, you can compartmentalize happiness or sadness within you, allowing it limited expression. However, when an issue is of great importance to you, it affects you completely. There is not one facet of your being that is not influenced by the burning issue, and your entire demeanor reflects your state of mind. The more relevant the issue, the more it affects the individual, to the extent that it permeates the person completely.

 

This illustration can be applied to the promise of material reward in our portion. The Torah affects every aspect of our lives, and influences our every moment. Even more, the Torah is our source of life. When one observes the commandments and follows the ways of the Torah, the natural outcome is G-d given blessings, which pervade every aspect of life, down to material success. The Torah is our life, and when we strengthen our connection to the source of life, every aspect of our life becomes healthier and more wholesome.

 

So too in regard to the messianic age. It is obvious that the main pursuit of mankind will be to know G-d, and man will not be preoccupied with material pleasures. However, at that time, G-dliness will pervade the world completely, to the extent that He will be apparent within every facet of creation. Currently, there is a time lapse before G-d's blessings come into this world, it is not readily apparent where the blessings come from. When Moshiach comes there will be no delay, the blessings from G-d will be occurring in real time. Food will grow immediately, children will be born immediately, for there will be no distance between G-d and our world. The world will be seen for what it is, a clear extension of G-d's existence.

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