Wednesday, July 1, 2009

175 - Behar / Bechukosai

Rashi explains, "Im bechokosai teileichu" (If you walk in my chukim) as an exhortation to toil in the study of Torah. Rav Wolbe (Shiurei Chumash) asks why the Torah refers to Torah study in the form of walking - "teileichu." Shouldn't the Torah have written, "Im bechukosai tilmidu" - if you study my chukim?
He explains that the study of Torah is unique since it is always possible to delve deeper and deeper into its wisdom. The more one toils over a ma'amer Chazal, the more insightful it becomes. Moreover, as one grows older, the very same statement that he might have already studied in his youth can take on a whole new meaning. As one continues to age and become wiser, he will be amazed when he once again studies the same passage and perceives newfound profundity within the Torah's timeless words. It is for this reason that Hashem termed the toil of Torah as "walking", for one can constantly tread deeper and deeper into the Torah, all the while gaining greater clarity of its infinite wisdom.
In parshas Achrei Mos (Vayikra 18, 4) the Torah writes a similar pasuk. "And you should guard my statutes to walk in them." Rashi explains that one should not say, "I have already studied the Torah and therefore I will now go study the wisdom of the nations." For if one constantly "walks" and delves deeper into the wisdom of the Torah, he will never claim that he has already concluded with Torah study.
Even with regard to chukim the Torah writes that one should "walk" and toil. Though we cannot understand the reason for these mitzvos in their entirety, there are aspects that we can comprehend. The more we apply ourselves, the more we will succeed in tapping into the vast wisdom contained within each word of the Torah.

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