S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:
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Ladies and Gentlemen, Due to Circumstances beyond Our Control…
“The blessing that you listen to the commandments And the curse that you do not listen and turn aside from the way” (11:27-8)
I remember being the grateful father of a newborn son.
There are very few occasions that compare with the joy of a brit mila, the spiritual rite of passage when a Jewish boy is brought into the covenant of Avraham on the eighth day of his life. A feeling of expectancy filled the house. Relatives came from thousands of miles away. The sage and the saintly were duly informed of the time and the place.
Everything was set.
However, as happens quite often, the baby decided to develop non-threatening infant jaundice. It cleared up within a couple of weeks and, with great joy, I brought our young son into the Covenant of Avraham. By that time, however, the eighth day had already come and gone.
In a certain sense, however, I really had brought my son into the brit on that eighth day.
At the beginning of this week’s Torah reading, when describing the blessings that come from following the Torah path of spirituality, it sats that you will listen. However, when speaking about the devastation caused by not listening to the Torah, it adds the phrase and you will turn aside from the way.
Why the additional phrase?
Sometimes we want to do a mitzvah, like bringing our son into the covenant on the eighth day as the Torah mandates, but circumstances beyond our control prevent us. However, G-d, in His infinite kindness, fuses our desire to do with the doing, and considers the mitzvah as though it was actually done it.
The mere thought of doing a mitzvah that you will listen is itself a mitzvah. However, when a person thinks about doing a sin, until he actualizes his thought, until he turns aside from the way it doesn’t get marked down on his scorecard against him.
- Sources: Be’er Mayim Chaim; Malbim; Mayana shel Torah