We shared with you last week that our wonderful fifth graders completed their third “Thank You, Hashem” chart. There are lessons in both parshios this week that can help us keep these lessons paramount in our lives.
Among the many ברכות mentioned in Parshas Bechukosai is: “You will eat your bread and be satisfied.” Rashi explains that “one eats just a bit and it will be blessed within his intestines.” A ברכה to receive millions of dollars is not always a blessing. The ultimate ברכה is to be satisfied with what we are given - שמח בחקלו - no matter how little it may be. If a person is happy with what he has, he will be totally satisfied with life.
The S’forno echoes this idea in Parshas Behar. Theפסוק relates regarding Shmittah: “And if you will say, ‘What will we eat in the seventh year?’ … I will command My ברכה for you in the sixth year and it will yield a crop sufficient for the three-year period!”
The S’forno states that the implication is that we only receive this very special ברכה by virtue of the question, “And if you will ask, what shall we eat?” But it seems to imply that if we are not troubled enough to ask, the crops would not double! Yet this is the truth - if we did not ask the question, we would have no need for the ברכה of so much extra produce! We would be satisfied with what we have.
We see that there are two types of ברכה, one quantity, and the other quality. The key is to realize that Hashem gives us exactly what we need. Understanding this leads to a feeling of true שמחה - the שמחה of שמח בחלקו. If we internalize this concept and display it openly to our children, they will imitate us and exhibit this important middoh. If we can accomplish this, we will merit the blessing of “you will eat your bread and be satisfied.” Thank you Hashem.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School