Parsha: Bechokoitai (2024)

What a wonderful Lag Baomer we had! Was beautiful to see so many people come to celebrate. It was a great evening of song, laughter, and community.

We are getting closer to the holiday of Shavuot. Shavuot is considered the wedding anniversary of the Jewish people and G-d.

Its a time of year that we can reflect on our personal relationships and our spiritual relationship as well.

Relationships need to be deepened and enriched otherwise they risk becoming stale and flat.

Settling into a comfortable and predictable routine can feel good initially but it lacks the potential for real growth and closeness.

Our connection to Judaism also requires this type of depth and enhancement.

This idea is also seen in the opening words of the Parsha, “אם בחוקתי תלכו”
“If only you will walk in (the way) of my laws.”

There are two things to look out for here in this opening verse.

Firstly the word for laws is חוקים, this is specifically referring to a commandment that is not logically understood.
It’s an instruction from G-d that invites us to go out of our comfort zone.
It’s not easy to do something that may not fit into our preferred schedule. How ever this is how the relationship becomes enhanced.

Secondly the word “walking” here implies movement. We are meant to progress.
So when a mitzvah feels a little bit uncomfortable, that’s ok. That’s where the deepening of our relationship with G-d occurs.
This walking is no “walk in the park,” its hard work.
But its a reminder to stay away from what can be most destructive in relationships, namely casual neglect.

In relationships and in Judaism things cannot be left stagnant.

This can be compared to climbing a mountain. As long as the climber is progressing he won’t fall. But when there are moments of stagnation he may begin to slip and fall.

So let’s keep climbing one step at time, to keep things fresh and exciting.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Zalman and Esty