Devar Torah - Behar-Bechukosai

Thursday, 14 May, 2015 - 9:00 pm

Its Time for Each of Us to Set a Goal;
to Aim for the Highest Hope, Shabbos l’Hashem!
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

This week is parshas Behar-Bechokosai. The parsha begins with the mitzvos of Sh’mita. Eretz Yisroel, with all its fields and its land, is the only place where these mitzvos can be fulfilled. For those of us who do not live within the land do not have to the opportunity to fulfill these mitzvos. Today we have become a society of information and services, most of us do not have any direct involvement with agriculture or farming. What do these laws teach us today? The lesson that the mitzvos of Sh’mita teach each of us today is a lesson in having and revealing emunah in Hashem in every aspect of our lives.

The Torah teaches us that for six years we work, and on the seventh year we rest and leave the fields fallow. If we don’t work the land for an entire year the natural question is; then what will we do for food? Even the Torah itself raises this question! The answer is that we must have emunah and bitachon in Hashem, that observing the mitzvah will not cause us to come up short, that in the end we will have all the we need.

The parsha of Sh’mita begins with the following: And Hashem spoke to Moshe on Har Sinai saying; Speak to Bnei Yisroel and you shall say to them; When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Shabbos to Hashem. Wait a minute! Don’t we first need to work the land for six years first and then take a year of Sh’mita? Why does the Torah mention Sh’mita first? The Alter Rebbe in Likutei Torah explains that before we begin, before we place the first shovel into the ground, on the first year, we must be aware that the Sh’mita is coming at the end of six years. Why? How will this help us? Knowing this in advance gives us the goal we need; and that goal is that everything that will occur between now and Sh’mita is “Shabbos for Hashem”. This clarifies our aim in life. This goal is why I am here in this world. This is the future the purpose and the destiny of this world. It is also a personal calling to fulfill our unique part in this overall plan and thereby and our purpose for which we were born.

This is also the theme of getting married and building a Jewish home, a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel. We begin our lives together by renting an apartment or buying a home. We buy new clothes, furniture and housewares. Before we check out the real estate market and before make our first purchase, we declare our entire undertaking as; “Shabbos for Hashem”. Our entire undertaking; at the beginning and end and at every point in the middle is the knowledge that our marriage and our home should be a Shabbos home where the kedusha of Shabbos is felt. All week long we have this in mind and this is what the six days of work are all leading to; to have Shabbos.

We also feel this way about having children. With all the diapers, feeding, care and education that go into raising a child, not to mention pregnancy and birth (!), we never loose sight of the most important thing. From the very first moment that a child comes into this world, at the very beginning, we know and declare that this child has a neshama. This is a Jewish child that belongs to Mamleches Kohanim the Jewish people and has an important purpose to fulfill. We are prepared to do all that we can to reach that goal, so that this child will reach his or her full potential. When we do not start with this knowledge then we only see externally,then we don’t see the difference between this baby and any other child. If we begin with this knowledge than we see internally and we know it’s this is a special and unique neshama housed in in a Jewish body that belongs to the Jewish people.

We begin to honor the Shabbos by lighting the Shabbos candles. When Shabbos ends we usher it out with light of the candles of Havdala. Havdala means to separate, to separate between Shabbos and the weekdays and to separate between Yisroel and the nations. The candles of Havdala carry with them guidance, urging each one of us to shine the kedusha of Shabbos into the coming weekdays. We are able and we are urged by the candles of Havdala to go forth into the world in the coming six days of the week and shine that which makes us different, that we are Yisroel, servants of Hashem, and this is apparent in everything that we do.  We are not here just for our personal benefit. This affects us on every day of the coming week; be it a Sunday a Wednesday or a Thursday.

To accomplish this we have the emunah and bitachon that Hashem will help in all aspects. Our dedication to mitzvos and making this world a dwelling place for Hashem will not bring a shortfall. This weeks parsha teaches us: “(Know that) I will command My blessing for you…(the land) will yield it’s produce”, “ You shall preform My statutes… you will live on the land securely”. We daven, give tzedaka, think and say out loud, that Hashem will surely help! With this we serve Hashem in our in all the details. All of them are important to fulfill Hashem’s purpose for this world.

The details of the laws of Sh’mita were received at Har Sinai by the giving of the Torah (Toras Kohanim, Rashi). As we prepare for Shavuos we are reminded that the spiritual harvest of a Shabbat or Sh’mitah can be achieved only after a “work-week” of dealing with the material world and developing its resources. But it must be preceded and predicated upon “Shabbos l’Hashem”. This is what occupies the front of our awareness and pervades our every deed. This is also what the Rebbe wanted for each one of us to focus on by learning Inyanei Geula u’Moshiach. Together with a vision and goal of the Geula Shleima we serve Hashem in all that we do with the intention of permeating all of it with a perspective of Moshiach. This is what finally allows us to arrive at the ultimate Shabbos l’Hashem the Geula H’amitis v’haShleima Now!

A Good Shabbos

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