Beneficial Obedience

First posted on The Times of Israel at:

Baal Haturim Leviticus: Behar

Beneficial Obedience

The ship that will not obey the helm will have to obey the rocks. -English Proverb



God gives the law. The expectation is that we will follow it. But He knows us well. He knows we are a stiff-necked people. He knows that we easily give in to our more basic desires. He knows that wealth, power and comfort corrupt us. He knows that poverty, helplessness and distress weaken us. Nonetheless, we are commanded. We are enjoined to obey.

There are a plethora of blessings that are listed for those that follow God’s commandments, just as there is a long list of curses for those that ignore God’s directives.

The Baal Haturim on Leviticus 25:11 highlights a particular facet of obedience. He claims that being obedient assures one that their lineage will continue. There is something about following God’s orders that instills in God a desire to see future generations of such people. On the other hand, the punishment for the disobedient is exile. The disobedient will not be able to enjoy life at home. They will be exiled. They will have to wander the earth, separated from their roots.

May we pay attention to what God wants of us and merit a long lineage in our homeland.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the new government of Israel.

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