What do we need to do to earn HaShem’s blessing? The Torah tells us in the beginning of this week’s parasha that all we have to do is to listen to the mitzvos that HaShem is commanding us today. Is that really all we have to do? If we listen to the mitzvos, then we get a great reward? How can that be? Certainly we have to fulfill the mitzvos. Why is merely listening to the mitzvos sufficient to receive a reward?
Lets us take a look at last week’s parasha (always good to review) and we will find the answer. It is said (Devarim 11:13) וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְוֹתַי אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּלְעָבְדוֹ בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם, it will be that if you hearken to My commandments that I command you today, to love HaShem, your G-d, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. The word שמע usually connotes listening, but we find that it is said (Shmuel I 15:4) וַיְשַׁמַּע שָׁאוּל אֶת הָעָם, Shaul had all the people summoned, so we see that the word שמע also means to gather. Rashi (Devarim 11:13) writes that the double term of teaches us that if one listen to the old, he will merit listening to the new. It is quite amazing that this is one of the only instances in the Torah where the word מצוה appears twice (I found another instance in Vayikra 7:38). Perhaps the Torah is teaching us the rule of מצוה גוררת מצוה, one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah. if one “hard” one mitzvah, he should rush to hear another mitzvah, and in this manner he will gather many mitzvos for his credit. Indeed, the Medrash (Yalkut Mishlei 20) states that if one, Heaven forbid, performed many sins, he should amass many mitzvos to negate the mitzvos.
Back in our parasha we can suggest that the blessing is found in the mitzvos, but even more significantly, in the way we treat the mitzvos. If we rush to amass mitzvos, and perform the mitzvos, we will certainly see blessing in our lives. The Zohar states that although the Jewish People nullified the נעשה, the “we will do” of accepting the Torah, they should still be careful regarding the נשמע, the hearing of the mitzvos. HaShem should allow us to merit hearing and amassing His Holy Mitzvos, and in that merit we should merit the rebuilding of the Bais HaMikdash and the mitzvah of settling Eretz Yisroel, with the Ultimate Redemption, speedily, in our days.
Have a mitzvah-filled Shabbos and a Good Chodesh!