“Dwell securely in your land”

Shabbat Kodesh Parashat Behar-Bechukotai

We will read this Shabbat:

אִם־בְּחֻקֹּתַ֖י תֵּלֵ֑כוּ וְאֶת־מִצְוֺתַ֣י תִּשְׁמְר֔וּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָֽם׃ 

If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, 

וְנָתַתִּ֥י גִשְׁמֵיכֶ֖ם בְּעִתָּ֑ם וְנָתְנָ֤ה הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ יְבוּלָ֔הּ וְעֵ֥ץ הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה יִתֵּ֥ן פִּרְיֽוֹ׃ 

I will grant your rains in their season, so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees of the field their fruit. 

וְהִשִּׂ֨יג לָכֶ֥ם דַּ֙יִשׁ֙ אֶת־בָּצִ֔יר וּבָצִ֖יר יַשִּׂ֣יג אֶת־זָ֑רַע וַאֲכַלְתֶּ֤ם לַחְמְכֶם֙ לָשֹׂ֔בַע וִֽישַׁבְתֶּ֥ם לָבֶ֖טַח בְּאַרְצְכֶֽם׃ 

Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and your vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your fill of bread and dwell securely in your land. 

וְנָתַתִּ֤י שָׁלוֹם֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ וּשְׁכַבְתֶּ֖ם וְאֵ֣ין מַחֲרִ֑יד וְהִשְׁבַּתִּ֞י חַיָּ֤ה רָעָה֙ מִן־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְחֶ֖רֶב לֹא־תַעֲבֹ֥ר בְּאַרְצְכֶֽם׃ 

I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down untroubled by anyone; I will give the land respite from vicious beasts, and no sword shall cross your land.

What does the Torah mean by the words:  “and you shall lie down untroubled by anyone” As a matter of fact, the preceding verse already promises that we will “dwell securely in our land”. So what is the additional blessing about?

We are all experiencing serious concerns. The world, post pandemic, found itself in the midst of a brutal war in “safe” Europe. We have a lot of unknown and unpredictable as to the future. This is true for anyone who lives anywhere in our Global village.  However – for those who reside in Ukraine or the surrounding counties, the concern is much more real and is on daily preservation of life. 

Now, let’s revisit the verses above and perhaps have an explanation: 

At the first verse – we are assured that we will “Dwell securely in our land” – that is great. But it does not yet specify what happens elsewhere in the world, which might cause us sleepless nights in our beds. Then comes the 2nd part of the Bracha, giving us the comfort of “lying down untroubled” which goes well beyond not having trouble in our own home or land. 

At this time, we are praying for both. We are longing for the immediate threat for innocent lives to stop.  And beyond, for the world at large to be a safer, calmer place, in which we can “lie down untroubled”….

Warm regards and Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld