This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
There are beautiful and harmonious aspects of life and of history. There are also some very uncomfortable, painful or even horrific episodes or periods of time. On a personal level, too, we tend to start out with rosy ideals or images of how good everything is going to be. Then, at some point, for many of us, we are challenged by situations which seem almost unbearable.
A similar pattern is seen in this week's Torah reading. First we have a beautiful depiction of happiness and harmony. We are told that through keeping Divine law there will be wholesome blessings, resulting in material plenty, peace, security and a tangible sense of holiness.
The Power of What
Farmers in the Land of Israel are instructed by the Torah to work their land for six years and to let it lie fallow on the seventh. But when all the fields in a country are permitted to lie fallow for an entire year, does the nation not face a very real risk of famine?
In the following verses, the Torah addresses this concern:
If you say: “What will I eat in the seventh year? . . .” I will command My blessing upon the sixth year, and it will yield produce for a three-year period.
Giving G-d Your Challenges
Remember when your teacher made a mistake during her lesson but when corrected she said, "Just making sure that you were listening…" Inaccuracies have a way of catching our attention. Spelling mistakes, crooked pictures, mathematical slips -- they all shout out "fix me."
It is this feature of the human condition that G-d triggers over and over again in the Torah. He plants therein seeming errors and inconsistencies, hoping that the reader will stop and think about a way to resolve the "mistake."