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toiling in torah

Written by Anonymous

The sedra opens with HaShem telling us that bracha will follow ‘if you walk in (ie follow) my statutes and keep my mitzvos…’ Rashi points out that the phrase ‘walking in my statutes’ refers to the obligation to toil in the study of Torah. How does Rashi’s explanation follow the wording of the pasuk? One explanation (the Or HaChaim gives 18 apparently!) is that if you look closely, the phrase used is ‘if you walk in my statutes’ ie a continuous process of movement and steady growth – walking. Rashi knew that the principal way to achieve this growth is by the study of Torah. Similar to this is an idea that Korach used the phrase ‘the nation IS holy,’ (bamidbar 16;3) but HaShem says ‘you WILL BE holy’ (vayikra 19;1). The correct attitude is to never assume that one is holy ie they have made it spiritually. There is always room to grow; one’s attitude is that one will be holy. That’s also a reason for the mizbeyach being sloping, to show that just like if you leave a ball on a slope it cannot stay still – it rolls down – so too must we not stay still spiritually; we must always be moving up or else we are probably just moving downwards.

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