Parashas Bechukosai, the week of blessings (and curses, but those are really blessings in disguise!) The Ramban tells us that the Jewish People have yet to experience these wonderful blessings of plentiful rain and rich crops and peace in the Land. Rather, we will see the fulfillment of these blessings when Moshiach comes, a time when the entire Jewish People will be fulfilling HaShem’s will. If you ask me, however, that does sound a little disheartening. According to the Ramban, we can study Torah day and night and perform acts of kindness, and the Jewish People will still not merit HaShem’s bounty! Is this really possible?
Perhaps we can understand the words of the Ramban as follows. The Rambam writes that the purpose of all these blessings is so that we should have more time and tranquility to serve HaShem properly. In the words of the Mishna, one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah. Thus, by studying Torah and performing mitzvos, we are hastening the arrival of Moshiach and the “good times.” It is therefore to our benefit to study Torah and perform mitzvos,and although the reward only comes in the end, we can merit to see that “end” sooner than the previous generations.
Sunday will be Lag BaOmer, the Hilulla (yahrtzeit, day of passing) of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. This great Sage lived after the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, but he was optimistic enough to transmit the Holy Zohar to future generations, and this work has allowed us to survive the long years of exile. In the merit of Rabbi Shimon and all those who follow in his path, HaShem should illuminate our lives and shine on us the light of Tziyon, speedily, in our days
Have a Blessed and Strong Shabbos and an “on the mark” Lag BaOmer!