No matter what kind of trouble may befall us, unity will always help us to get back on our feet. It’s also a Torah commandment.
By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
This week’s Torah portion is Bechukotai, Hebrew for “My Laws” (Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34).
As one may glean from its name, this week’s Torah portion is a strong and stern warning to observe the Torah and perform the commandments of God.
I’ll be honest – Bechukotai is not one of the more “comfortable” Torah portions to have to sit through, hearing it read from start to finish. The reason: Not only does Bechukotai warn us to follow the ways of the Torah, but it also gives us the “or else” – which isn’t too pretty.
If we do the right thing, God promises to shower us with blessing. But if the reverse is true, all forms of disaster await us.
The Torah commentators discuss these disasters and how to deal with them. All commentators have a common denominator in their advice on how to do so. One word: Unity. That’s right. In plague – unity. In poverty – unity. In hunger – unity. In war – unity. Think about it. All troubles become a little less burdensome when there are others who can help us get through them.
Unity among ourselves is also a springboard for unity with our Creator. Human bonding and interpersonal relationships is the prototype for a healthy, close relationship with God. Sharing with each other and caring for one another brings us a giant step closer to unity with God.
This week in Israel was a week of trouble, distress, and woe. Our enemies on every border demonstrated their venomous hatred for the thriving State of Israel. “Nakba Day,” the day on which our enemies protest the establishment of the State of Israel, was not a protest for the 1967 borders; it was not a protest to demand a return to the negotiating table. Rather, it was a violent protest against the very existence of the Jewish state. It was a protest against Jewish sovereignty and the right of Jews to live freely in their land.
This, too, shall pass. The true colors of our enemies continue to show. From Hamas’ condemnation of the United States for assassinating the “martyr” Osama Bin Laden to the Arabs on all our borders condemning our existence – the world just might be starting to get the message.
Bechukotai. Even when troubles befall us, unity will put us back on our feet. With each other. With God. And with the world.
Shabbat Shalom from UNITED WITH ISRAEL!