By Batya Hefter
The blessings in parshat b’chukotai echo of gan eden, “I will make you fruitful and multiply you’, ‘the trees of the field shall yield their fruit’, and most significantly, “ and I will walk among you’, restoring the harmonious pre-chet adam HaRishon environment where God roams among us (Radatz), as one of us (Seforno).
Such a harmonious relationship hardly seems that is would be the result of compliance and warning of harsh punishment.
I found a most exceptional teaching this week by Rabbi Ya’akov Leiner of Radzin (BY, b’chukotai 4) ‘If you will walk in my statutes and keep my commandments’ is NOT read as a command, rather as a prayer! God prays; “Would it only be that they walk in my statutes and intend to fulfill God’s will”. Having given them all of the mitzvoth, God now prays that Am Yisrael chose to do what is in their best interest!.
Rabbi Brovender once said that God made us parents so that we would understand Him.
As parents, we strive to tell our children what we believe to be in their best interest. We can urge, remind, dictate, but in the end of the day, it is their choice and all we can do is pray that they should choose the correct path.
While you may say, this doesn’t sound like pshat in the Torah, it is pshat in reality.