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Bechukosi-Spiritual Exercise: Use a Walker and a Stepper

Bechukosi-Spiritual Exercise: Use a Walker and a Stepper

Spiritual Exercise:  Use a Walker and a Stepper

Parshat Bechukotai 

Im bechukotai telechu, vei-et mitzvotai tishmeru, veasitem otam’ (Vayikra 26:3) – If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them.

 

The verse that states, “If you walk in My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them” (Leviticus 26:3) does seem to be repetitious.  The decrees are themselves commandments that we are bound to observe and practice! Consequently, why does the Torah use the verb “walk” and “observe” with regards the commandments as if they consisted of two different things?

 

Rashi answers this question as follows: “‘If you walk in My decrees.’ This means, “If you put effort (work at) into studying My Torah”‘. In other words, not only do we have to keep the law, but we also have to exercise at maintaining the law, much the same way as in physical exercise when we use a walker; so to for spiritual improvement we must exercise by working – “walking” to achieve knowledge of mitzvot and know them better.

 

The verse in Zechariah (3:7), “venatati lecha mehalechim” –” I will let you walk among these others standing here”(That is, the angels)  emphasizes Man’s spiritual mobility progression and movement as the  characteristic that defines him. Whereas angels are spiritually stationary, Man is a “holech /mihalech“; he is a walker  – in constant spiritual progression.

 

A Jew who exercises his religion must not only use a walker in accordance with the Torah’s exhortation of, “bechokotai telechu” and be a holech /mihalech; he must also use a stepper, for he is called upon to live a life of continuous ascent. Hence, the imagery of the Psalmist: “Who will ascend the mountain of God?” (Tehillim 24:3) We must be aware that the rote of daily living our daily routine can cause within us a feeling of contentment and  self-satisfaction  with our spiritual status and lack of awareness of  the danger of complacency.  If we do not progress we regress. We must avoid exchanging a dynamic life of spiritual ascent for a moribund life upon a spiritual plateau. A life of ascent, inter alia, entails constantly deepening our commitment to Torah and mitzvot.

 

 

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