The Light at the End of the Tunnel by Binyamin Kagedan


In Parshat Bechukotai, the Torah presents us with the Tochacha, a list of gruesome curses that will befall Bnai Yisrael if they do not heed the word of Hashem.  The Torah carries on these morbid consequences for forty verses before terminating into a message of hope, reassuring us that through the Brit, Hashem and Bnai Yisrael will always be together. 

However, towards the end of the Tochacha, there seems to be a blatantly misplaced Pasuk.  The next to last Pasuk, Pasuk 43, says וזכרתי את בריתי יעקב ואף את בריתי יצחק ואף את בריתי אברהם אזכר והארץ אזכר “And I will remember my covenant with Yaakov, and also my covenant with Yitzchak, and also my covenant with Avraham will I remember, and I shall remember the land.”  Right after that, the text switches back to curse והארץ תעזב מהם ותרץ את שבתותיה בהשמה מהם והם ירצו את עונם יען וביען במשפטי מאסו ואת חקתי געלה נפשם “For the land shall lie forsaken, without them, and they shall be paid the punishment of their iniquity because, they rejected ordinances and ignored my statutes,” before finally ending.  What could be the explanation for this seemingly lost Pasuk?

Rashi, in his comment on this Pasuk, explains why the patriarchs are mentioned in reverse order.  He says we call upon the merit of Yaakov, and if that is not sufficient, we call upon the merit of Yitzchak, and if that is not sufficient, we call upon the merit of Avraham.  We can learn an important lesson from Rashi.  When things are looking down and we seem to be even beyond the help of our father Jacob, we might become full of despair.  Just as to be all hope seems lost, we must realize that we are not done yet.  Even in the worst of situations, there is still hope, the merit of Avraham.  This idea is representative of the light at the end of the tunnel that awaits the Jews in every one of their misfortunes.

The Tochacha seems to be just about the worst-case scenario for the Jews.  Hearing about terrible punishments for consecutive 40 verses could cause one to be overwhelmed with fear or depression.  With that out of place Pasuk, Hashem is reminding us of this simple idea: no matter what will happen to Bnai Yisrael, in the end, there will always be a salvation.          

Returning Home by Ami Friedman

Easier Does It by Moshe Aharon Poleyeff