Torah Weekly

For the week ending 21 May 2022 / 20 Iyar 5782

Parashat Bechukotai

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair - www.seasonsofthemoon.com
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PARSHA OVERVIEW

The Torah promises prosperity for the Jewish People if they follow Hashem's commandments. However, if they fail to live up to the responsibility of this calling, then chilling punishments will result. The Torah details the harsh historical process that will fall upon them when Divine protection is removed.

These punishments, whose purpose is to bring the Jewish People to repent, will be in seven stages, each more severe than the last. Sefer Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus, concludes with the details of erachin — the process by which someone vows to give the Beit Hamikdash a certain monetary value for a person, animal or property.

PARSHA INSIGHTS

How Much Do You Love Really Your Neighbor?

“I will turn my attention to you…” (26:9)

Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rov, zt”l, was well known for his unwavering defense of Torah values. What is less known is that he was incredibly kind and generous. He was always in debt, but when people in trouble would come to him, he was unstinting in his giving and he poured out his heart and he emptied his pockets.

As fast as the money came in, he would give it out. Once, a known conman managed to weasel his way in to see the Rabbi. This con spun the Rabbi a heart-breaking story. He said, “Rebbe, I have a wife and ten children. My wife is in a mental institution and one of my children is in debt and was thrown out of his apartment.” He poured out a tale of woe that would melt the heart of a metal robot. The . Rebbe gave him everything he had, emptying out his pockets. He said, “Go get your son an apartment and pay your wife’s medical bills. Here, take this!” He thrust money into the conman’s hands. As the conman was leaving, the Rebetzin, the Rabbi’s wife, came in. The Rabbi said, “You never heard such a terrible story as this man just told me. His wife is in a mental hospital. His son has been evicted!”

His wife said, “You know who that was? That was Yossel. Everyone knows him and knows that he is a total conman, a complete thief. He really got you.” “But you should have heard the problems he has!” The Rebetzin said, “He has no wife! He has no children! Not a word of what he said is true!” Said the Satmar Rov, “Oh, Boruch Hashem it’s not true!”

That is really loving your neighbor as yourself.

“I will turn my attention to you.” If we turn our attention to our fellow man, Hashem turns His “Attention” to us and blesses our every action.

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