Bechukotai: Keep On Walking

Holiness Is A Journey

In Torah portion Bechukotai, God promises to bless the land with rain “If you walk in (i.e. follow) My laws and faithfully observe My commandments.” (Leviticus 23:3-4). Rashi explains that “walk in My laws” refers to the obligation to study Torah. How does he deduce that meaning from the verse? One answer is that walking moves you forward and builds strength, and Rashi knew that the way to achieve this growth is by learning God’s laws. 

On a similar note, when Korach rebels against his cousins Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, he asks what makes them so special. Korach criticizes them for being holier than thou, saying “all the community *are* holy” (Num. 16:3). Compare this to God telling the Children of Israel “You *shall* be holy” (Lev. 19:1). Being holy is an ongoing process of growth. There’s never a point at which we have “arrived” spiritually and can stop working on ourselves. Holiness is not a static state of being but rather a continual journey. 

That’s why the altar in the Holy Temple was built with a slope. If you put a ball on a slope it won’t stay there but will roll down. So too in our spirituality: if we’re not continually moving forward, then we’re likely to descend.

May we continually move forward in serving God and refining our character!

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