This week’s parasha continues Moshe Rabbeinu‘s review of everything that happened in the desert. We learn about the reward for following in Hashem’s ways and are assured that Hashem will take care of us just like He has in the past. Remember how Hashem sustained us in the desert with the mann – so too He sustains us always. It’s easy to get caught up in the drive for money but it’s all up to Hashem and if we follow in His ways we will have everything we need.
We’re instructed to remember Yetzias Mitzrayim, the Exodus from Egypt, and the ups and downs of our nation’s time in the desert. Moshe Rabbeinu reminds us of receiving the luchos, the tablets with the Ten Commandments at Har Sinai, and the sin of the Goldan Calf, followed by numerous rebellions in the desert. Every time, however, Hashem forgave us and continued to fulfill His promises to us even when we didn’t hold up our end of the deal!
Hashem replaced the first luchos with a second set inside a special ark. Aharon HaKohein passed away, and the tribe of Levi was set aside to serve in Hashem’s sanctuary. Moshe Rabbeinu entreats the Jewish people: all Hashem wants is for us to follow in His ways, to fear and to love Him. This generation saw miracles like no other and will also see the miracles and beauty of the Land of Israel where Hashem will take the nation.
The parasha ends with the second paragraph of the Shema, V’haya, which enumerates the rewards and punishments for listening to Hashem’s will or not, followed by the reiteration of Hashem’s promise to take care of the Jewish people and enable them to settle in the Land.
In Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers) we learn that there is no way to fathom the reward for the mitzvos, the commandments, we fulfill in this world, because the reward is so great and on such a different level of existence than what we can imagine, that it’s impossible to be rewarded here in this world for such lofty spiritual accomplishments such as mitzvos.
In this week’s parasha, however, it seems to state the opposite. If we follow in Hashem’s ways, there will be rain, we’ll have sustenance… how can these two statements, that of Pirkei Avos and that of the Torah, both be true?
It is explained that when we demonstrate a true desire to fulfill Hashem’s will, He’ll make it easy for us to do so. If we go in His ways, we will have rainfall so we won’t have to worry about the crops, and can dedicate ourselves to studying and fulfilling the Torah.
So in a way, we’re kind of being rewarded twice – once in this world, in terms that we can understand here, so we can continue to amass more mitzvos and more reward in the World to Come, which is the ultimate reward.
Sounds like a good rewards system to me!
(Idea extrapolated from a Dvar Torah on torah.org by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch)
What Mitzvos did you add to your treasure chest today?
Listening to the “Erev Shabbos Mode” on jewishmusicstream.com!