Parshat Behar, "Missing the Point"

At the end of this parshah, the Jewish people are told to help their fellow Israelites who become poor. Then we are told right after that not to engage in idol worship. Finally we are told again to observe the Sabbath.

Why are the three mentioned one right after the other like that? The answer is that if we cannot see the importance of helping those in need (the first part) then we can’t possibly observe the rituals of Judaism correctly (the last part) because, in missing the point, we will have come to idolatry (the middle part) – we will have missed The Point, namely that God is not just in the rituals we do, but God is in the good that we do for the world around us, and that the rituals help us to remember that fact; they aren’t independent of it.

It's a simple lesson for what is a rather short parshah this week, but one we need to work hard on learning just the same.

Shabbat Shalom!

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