Vaetchanan: Above and Beyond

Doing right and good

“Do what is right and good in God’s eyes, so that He will do good to you and you shall come and inherit the land.” – Deut. 6:18

Rashi explains that doing “what is right and good” means acting beyond the strict demands of the law. When you follow God’s commandments, don’t just do the bare minimum.

But what does that have to do with the second half of the verse, “and you shall inherit the land”? Rabbi Yochanan taught that “Jerusalem was destroyed because they did not judge there beyond the letter of the law.” (Talmud, Bava Metzia 30b) The Jews lost their land because they did just what was required of them, but no more. Perhaps if we all go above and beyond in our service to God, we will merit to see the Temple rebuilt, speedily in our days. 

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