In Parashat B’har/B’hukotai God explains that the Torah is a covenant, a mutual promise between God and the people of Israel. And putting aside the fact that we have not always kept our part of that covenant all too well, or the times of trial when perhaps being God’s chosen people has not been such a blessing – still and all, let’s focus for a moment on the ideal world which the Torah presents here and consider what it would mean to make it real.
God calls us to walk in God’s ways and when we do God promises:
- The rains will come and the earth will thrive and bring forth its produce
- We will have plenty to eat and plenty in store and safety in knowing we are secure
- We will live in peace without fear of war or attack
- God will look favorably upon us and our children who will become strong and many
- And God will establish a sanctuary with us so that God can dwell in our midst
This is a biblical wish list of blessings, the promise of those things mostly beyond our control, the things we worried most about and prayed for the most. And, interestingly enough, things that would be a more secure part of our lives were we to practice the values of the Torah in our lives and in the life of our community.
So let me ask you, what would you put on your greatest wish list? What do you value the most, worry over the most? And how might being a just and righteous person and building a just and righteous society bring us closer to making that hopeful future become real for us all?