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    Immersing oneself – B’chukkotai

    The portion begins with the statement, “If you walk in My statutes and observe My commandments and do them” (Lev.26:3).

    The Midrash asks, “What is meant by walking in God’s statutes? It can’t mean observing His commandments, because that is stated separately. Walking in His statutes must therefore mean engaging with them, immersing in them”.

    What an interesting idea. We’re not simply expected to carry out the mitzvot but to be part and parcel of them. What that entails is having a conversation with the mitzvah, engaging with it in such a fashion that at that moment nothing else exists.

    The writer Chaim Potok once said that he arrived in an American city just before Xmas in order to address a meeting under Chabad auspices. A Chabadnik met him at the airport, put his arm around him and hummed a Chassidic melody. Immersed in the Chassidic tune, Chaim Potok was no longer aware of the seasonal carols that were relayed over the public address system.

    That’s what’s meant by being immersed in the mitzvah… Nothing else exists, only you and the mitzvah.

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