At the time Moses was pleading (va’etchanan means “and I sought favor”) with Elohim for another chance to enter into the land, the world wasn’t much different than it is today. You probably assume that that I have a punch line following that statement, but I don’t. Let’s examine this week’s parsha together.
When reading through this parsha this time around, I paused to reflect on Deuteronomy 1:10. We should be very familiar with the promise made to Avinu Avraham (Our father Abraham) by now, but it’s worth looking at it again.
When is enough actually enough for us? How many times do we see injustice occurring and think to ourselves, “I wish someone would do something about that”? We begin this week by reading about Elohim’s reaction to the zeal that Pinchas displayed in the previous Parsha. Let’s to go back to the end of last week’s Torah portion to refresh our memory.
Not just a decree, but the decree. And what a complex decree it is! We begin this week’s busy Torah portion with a law that has continued to baffle scholars, sages and biblical students alike over the years: the purifying ashes of the red heifer.
After scouting the Promised Land of Canaan, ten of the twelve spies came back and delivered a statement that provoked fear in the hearts of the Israelites.
It seems we begin this portion of the Torah with a continuation of more numbers. More counting. More censuses. But here we notice something strange. Just prior in Numbers 3:17 the sons of Levi are listed in order of their seniority with Gershon being first, Kohat listed second and Merari…
Why do these blessings only speak of a plentiful harvest and safety from enemies? Are there no spiritual blessings that accompany obedience to the will of Elohim? Wouldn’t “following His decrees and observing His commandments and performing them” (Leviticus 26:3) merit a personal growth and blessing as well? The Torah, apparently, doesn’t see the need to expound on that. It seems to imply that there is a direct link between how the crops turn out and how we behave. Why?
This week’s Parsha deals with some seemingly outdated topics about farming. Leviticus 25:1-2 begins with the command that when we should come into the land, we are to let it rest and have its own Sabbath. It goes on to clarify:
his week’s Torah portion begins with a command that seems to be nearly impossible to fulfill. But is it really as difficult as it sounds?
To most people, the book of Vayikra/Leviticus is an onslaught of laws, rules, rituals, and outdated information. But for those willing to look deeper, there are all sorts of treasures to be found. Such is the case with this week’s Torah Portion.