From the Rabbi’s Study –
ari happy
In the Torah portion of “Re’eh” (Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17), Moses declares in the name of God: “Behold I have set before you this day a blessing and a curse. The blessing is earned for observing the commandments of God… and the curse if you do not observe His commandments”.

God is telling us that religion is not a compromise. There are no deals to be made. You can’t take half a package. They are called “The Ten Commandments” not “The Ten Suggestions”. Religion is not a matter a convenience or dependant on one’s free time – it is one of commitment.

But let’s focus on the blessing. The Torah tells us that God will bless us if we keep His commandments. However, we know that there are plenty of good people out there who live the Torah’s ideal, but they don’t appear to be blessed. There are so many religious people who live the teachings of the Torah, not just read it. And yet, most such people do not appear to be blessed. We don’t see the sky opening up and pouring gold coins upon the heads of such people. The lotto company doesn’t seem to call them to let them know they won the 10 million dollar jackpot, and the car on their driveway doesn’t appear to be a Porsche or Lamborghini.

So where’s this blessing????

The problem is that many in our generation have lost touch with what ‘blessing’ truly is. We believe blessing to be only the most visible and tangible material wealth. However, this is absolutely false. In fact, it is idolatrous.

Waking up in the morning well-slept, refreshed, and HAPPY is a blessing. A happy marriage is a blessing. A child who comes home from school and the first thing he or she does is kiss you – is a blessing. The opportunity to do a good deed and help another person is a blessing. UNITY is a blessing. Need I go on?

Re’eh, Behold, God wants to bless you. God DOES bless you. We just have to be sure to keep His commandments and realize how He has blessed us.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Ari Enkin

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