Shabbat Bechukotai Shalom


Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon

by Phyllis Chesler

As ever, the parsha is both divinely humane and divinely terrifying. The unmistakable melodies of Sinai—the exact steps taken there are, once again, repeated here. “We will do” after which “we will hear.” “Naa’seh v’nishma.” (24:7).

In the very beginning of Bechukotai, in 26:3, we are told: “If you walk/follow my statutes, and if you hear/obey my commandments, and if you actually fulfill/observe them” good will come to you, to your land, and to your people. This is how God begins his promise or statement about a new covenant, one beyond that which God has already promised to Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya’akov, and beyond that which God promised us at Sinai.

But Oh! How high is the price to be so blessed! And Oh! How we mighty sinners have failed it, time and again. Here, I am speaking for myself of course, a mere woman who is worth only 30 shekalim to the male 50 shekalim. Just joking but also wondering, protesting, perhaps.

Shabbat Bechukotai Shalom!

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