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Parashat Behukotai- Torah and Peace

Parashat Behukotai begins by describing the rewards that God promises to grant Am Yisrael if they observe the Torah. Rashi famously comments that that these rewards depend on not only the observance of the Misvot, but also intensive Torah study. When the Torah says at the beginning of this Parasha, "Im Be’hukotai Telechu" (literally, "If you follow My statutes"), it actually refers to "Amelut Be’Torah" – "toiling" in Torah learning.

In describing the rewards that God promises, the Torah first mentions material success and prosperity, and then says, "Ve’natati Shalom Ba’aretz" – "I shall make peace in the land" (26:6). One of the rewards for our devotion to Torah study – and the most important of all rewards – is that of "Shalom," peace.

Indeed, peace is one of the natural results of serious Torah learning. One of the effects that Torah has on a person is rearranging his priorities and redirecting his focus. When a person delves into Torah, he comes out with a changed perspective on life. Issues and concerns that trouble most people seem trivial and unimportant. With his mind focused on lofty, intricate concepts, he does not afford too much significance to relatively minor issues such as honor and prestige. The result of this perspective is "Shalom" – serenity and contentment.

Consider the example of a businessman who is enjoying a busy day at his store. He is working feverishly, without stopping for a moment, to deal with every customer, realizing that each is another profit. The man continues for hours, his mind focused on the money he is earning, and these thoughts drive him to work non-stop and pay no attention to anything else. If somebody would stick his head into the store while this is going on, and call the storeowner a bad name to insult him, would he care? Would he pay any heed to an insult when he is busy with his store, making a fortune of money? Would this person’s offensive comments have any effect on him at all?

Similarly – and all the more so – Torah changes a person’s perspective and attitude, thereby preventing him from becoming agitated by minor trivialities. When we learn Torah, we are collecting "valuables" whose worth far exceeds the profits of even the most successful businessman. We are filling not our pockets, but our souls, with the sacred wisdom of Torah. When we are preoccupied with this pursuit, few things are capable of upsetting us. Whether we receive the honor we think we deserve, whether we are invited to the upcoming function, whether we get that extra bonus, whether our neighbor is friendly to us – these issues do not weigh all that heavily on the mind of somebody rigorously pursuing Torah scholarship.

And this is why devotion to Torah learning brings us the reward of "I shall make peace in the land." Simply put, a person who learns Torah is less likely to fight with others, because he is less likely to care about the things people generally fight about. Torah study ensures that our minds remain focused on far more important, loftier matters, thus absolving us from the need to fret over trivialities. And the result is a peaceful existence and harmonious relations with the people around us.


Related Parasha
Parashat Behar: The Way to Look at a Fellow Jew - 2020 Year
Parashat Behukotai- Toiling in Torah - 2019 Year
Parashat Behar- Letting the Blessing Flow - 2019 Year
Parashat Behar-Behukotai- The Torah’s Concept of “Freedom” - 2018 Year
Parashat Behar: Fear of G-d - 2017 Year
Parashat Behukotai: The Misvot We Do Not Understand - 2016 Year
Parashat Behar: Financial Security - 2016 Year
Parashat Behar-Behukotai: Freedom and Family - 2015 Year
Parashat Behukotai- The Blessing Among The Curses - 2014 Year
Parashat Behar: Shemita and Mount Sinai - 2014 Year
Parashat Behar: The Desire for Control - 2013 Year
Parashat Behukotai: The Effort and the Results - 2012 Year
Parashat Behar- Sometimes, Less is More - 2011 Year
Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Behar / Bechukotai - 2010 Year
Sefer/Parasha:
Parashat Ekeb: Understanding the First Two Paragraphs of Shema
Parashat Vaetchanan: A Reason for Consolation
Parashat Debarim- A Nation Defined by the Torah
Parashat Matot-Masei: The Potential Within the Darkness
Parashat Pinhas: The Covenant of Peace
Parashat Hukat- Seeing the Inner Goodness
Parashat Korah: The Origins of Korah’s Revolt
Parashat Shelah: Fulfilling Our Mission
Parashat Beha’alotecha- Teaching and Growing
Parashat Naso- Rectifying the Sin of Adam and Hava
Shabuot- Sara Imenu and the Roots of the Jewish Monarchy
Shavuot- Yes, the Torah is For Us
Parashat Behar: The Way to Look at a Fellow Jew
Lag Baomer- Reinforcing Our Bitahon
Parashat Kedoshim: Complementing One Another
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856 Parashot found