Wednesday, May 09, 2007

B'chukosai: protection money

Parshat B'chukosai

In the middle of the section of the tochacha, in 26:23-24, Hashem says, "וְאִם-בְּאֵלֶּה--לֹא תִוָּסְרוּ, לִי; וַהֲלַכְתֶּם עִמִּי, קֶרִי. וְהָלַכְתִּי אַף-אֲנִי עִמָּכֶם, בְּקֶרִי; וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶתְכֶם גַּם-אָנִי" - and if despite all this you still walk with Me in happenstance, I will walk with you in happenstance and I will smite you...

That does not exactly sound like בקרי - happenstance. b'keri sounds like whatever happens happens. It does not seem like it should include "I will smite you". This sounds not b'keri, but against. So how does that last phrase fit with what Hashems says that he will go with us b'keri?

The natural result of Hashem not going with us full-time, is our being punished. We have only survived the generations because of Hashem's protection. If we stop doing the mitzvos, and subsequently Hashem stops offering us His portection, but goes with us b'keri, we will be hit.

We deserve to be hit, in that situation, and have no protection from Hashem. So, yes, being hit is a natural result of b'keri.

1 comment:

Futzuman said...

What you're describing is precisely the story of Purim.

So long as the Jews considered Hashem to be the sole source of protection (and divine at that), great. But when some Jewish people started to consider Achasverosh as a significant player in their protection and well-being, that's when Hashem concealed Himself (אסתר פנים), leaving the Jews to fend for themselves with Achashverosh.

So, וַהֲלַכְתֶּם עִמִּי, קֶרִי -- you shall walk with me as if nature takes its natual course, happenstance, quantum physics, whatever, then Hashem conceals His divine protection and the natural course of events brings about וְהָלַכְתִּי אַף-אֲנִי עִמָּכֶם, בְּקֶרִי -- things "just happen" and Jews find themselves in danger surrounded by 70 hungry wolves.

In other words, when Jews give up divine protection and submit themselves to natural protection, they indeed end up with only natural protection. So, as you said, getting hit is a natural result of having no divine protection.

The Jewish people needed to reconnect to the divine protection, to reveal (מגילת) that which was hidden (אסתר), drop Achasverosh and all was well. ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה וששון ועיקר, כן תהייה לנו!