Bechukosai 5782


From curses to blessings[1]

אם-בחקתי תלכו וגו’ ואולך אתכם קוממיות: ואם-לא תשמעו לי וגו’ אלה החקים והמשפטים אשר נתן יקוק בינו ובין בני ישראל בהר סיני ביד-משה

If you walk in my statutes…I will lead you upright. And if you don’t listen to me…[such and such will happen]…These are the statutes and laws that Hashem gave between Himself and the Jewish people, on Mount Sinai, through Moshe[2]

Parshas Bechukosai is also known as the Tochacha, the Rebuke. A large portion of the parsha describes all the curses that will, G-d forbid, befall the Jewish people if they don’t remain faithful in their observance of the Torah. However, it begins describing all the wonderful blessings that we should receive if we are in fact properly following Hashem’s laws.

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Eikev 5781


Pearls of gratitude[1]

ובאהרן התאנף יקוק מאד להשמידו ואתפלל גם-בעד אהרן בעת ההוא

Hashem became incredibly enraged towards Aharon, in order to destroy him. I prayed on Aharon’s behalf that that time[2]

Our Sages relate[3] a very unusual interaction between Moshe and Aharon. When Aharon was inaugurated as the Kohen Gadol, he was anointed with special sanctified oil. After doing so, Moshe and Aharon noticed that two pearls of oil remained on Aharon’s beard[4]. Upon realizing this, Moshe was very concerned he had committed מעילה, misappropriated sanctified property[5]. Immediately, a heavenly voice declared that there was nothing to be concerned over. Aharon then started worrying that perhaps he himself had committed מעילה, by getting inappropriate pleasure from the remaining oil on his beard, desecrating its sanctity. Immediately, a heavenly voice declared that there was nothing to be concerned over. That’s the entirety of the story. There are many questions here. First and foremost, what’s the significance over these two pearls of oil? Why is this story worth relating?

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