May 10, 2015

אִם־בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ וְאֶת־מִצְוׂתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם׃

If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments,

im b'-khu-ko-TAI tay-LAY-khu v'-et mitz-vo-TAI tish-m'-RU va-a-see-TEM o-TAM

Leviticus 26:3

אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִהְיֹת לָהֶם עֲבָדִים וָאֶשְׁבֹּר מֹטֹת עֻלְּכֶם וָאוֹלֵךְ אֶתְכֶם קוֹמְמִיּוּת׃

I Hashem am your God who brought you out from the land of the Egyptians to be their slaves no more, who broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

Leviticus 26:13

God begins his blessings with the caveat, “If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them” (Leviticus 26:3). He then promises to show great favor to the Children of Israel if they do, vowing rain in its season, bountiful produce, peace and prosperity, safety and fertility. The Israelites shall fear neither beast nor enemy, for God will be with them and dwell in his sanctuary among them.


As the Israel Bible points out, the land of Israel is highly dependent on rain, as it has no body of water large enough to serve as an independent water source for irrigation. Water is a great blessing, but too much or too little, too early or too late, can be a curse, too. Therefore, God blesses the people with rain in its time. This is called gishmay b’rakha in Hebrew in the book of Ezekiel (34:26), or ‘rains of blessing’.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why does God need to promise His people success against their enemies (26:7-8) if the previous verse says “neither shall the sword go through your land”?

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