Dvar Torah for Parshat Behar-Bechukoti
Based on Likutey Moharan I, Lesson #191
“If you follow My laws and are careful to keep my mitzvot, I will provide you with rain…the land will bear its crops, the trees…will provide fruit…threshing season will last until your grape harvest…I will grant peace in the land…you will continue eating the previous year’s crops…and will eventually have to clear out the old crops because of the new” (Leviticus 26:3–10).
Sounds pretty good, and I even left out some of the blessings that are on the list. Keep those mitzvot, learn some Torah and then reap the rewards—literally, it says—and enjoy! Right? Well, it depends.
Rebbe Nachman teaches that two people can be sitting next to each other in Gan (the Garden of) Eden, the Heavenly abode awaiting those who are careful to keep God’s mitzvot while they live on our planet, and they will have totally different experiences. One will have “all the pleasures and delights of the 310 worlds, while his friend will feel nothing and have no pleasure whatsoever.” Since they both were observant Jews, why the difference?
Rebbe Nachman explains that Godliness resides in the heart. And even though the heart (and brain) are quite small, though can contain country upon country, with all the things, places and people they contain because, “the Heavens to the heights and the earth to the depths, and the heart of kings is unfathomable” (Proverbs 25:3).
So, if you want to enjoy the rewards of mitzvah performance you have to enjoy doing the mitzvot. You have to put your heart into them, contemplate their wisdom and mystery, the greatness of the One Who chose you to observe them and the wonder of being privileged to do them.
Do that and you’ll enjoy Gan Eden right here on earth!
© Copyright 2010 Breslov Research Institute