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Dvar Bechukotai

This Dvar is sponsored in loving memory of the Yartzeit of Sylvia Katzman

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. This Dvar has 2 pretty deep topics - hopefully it'll inspire further thought. Thanks for the constant feedback - keep it coming, keeping passing this on, and keep enjoying...

* * *

This week's Parsha, Bechukotai, clearly states that good people will be rewarded, and bad people will be punished. But is that really true? Don't some people excel even though they're clearly evil? Don't good people sometimes suffer? Lastly, when the Torah describes these rewards and punishments it does so in the plural. Why?

There is a Talmud (Kiddushin 39b) that states that there is no reward for doing a mitzvah in this world, and that it all comes in the next world. What, then, is our Parsha referring to? Rabbi Avi Weiss offers that in this world reward and punishment only operate on a collective level. That is, when one does something positive, the larger community benefits. And when doing something negative, the community suffers. That would explain why our Parsha uses the plural in describing rewards and punishments. As for good people suffering and bad people enjoying, that has a lot to do with free will. For example, if we saw immediate dividends when giving charity, who wouldn't give?

It turns out that our faithful positive actions pay interest to our local communities, and pay handsome dividends to our personal accounts.

Quotation of the Week (thanks to Marjie):
"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still." -Chinese Proverb




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Last Updated: Thursday, May 26, 2005