Bechukotai- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 3.10: Vayikra (Wayyiqra) [Leviticus] Chapters 26:3-27:34
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Bechukotai
Meaning: “In my Statues”
This week’s Torah Portion is called Bechukotai (בחקותי), meaning “In my Statutes.” YHWH gives his tells us all the wonderful or bad things that can happen if his people do or don’t keep his commands.
Chapter 26: Next YHWH tells Moshe of all the great promises he would do for the children of Yashra’el if they obeyed his laws and commands. He says that they wouldn’t be afraid, and he will be in their midst, the rain will come in it’s season for their crops, they will eat bread until they are satisfied, and live safely in the land.
However, YHWH then listed a much, much longer list of all the bad things that would happen if the children of Yashra’el didn’t obey and keep his commands. Sudden fear, diseases, and being destroyed by your enemies were a few starters. If that wasn’t enough to get you on track and doing better, he said that he would punish them 7 times more! Still not behaving after that? YHWH said he would bring 7 times more plagues after that! If his people still didn’t turn around and keep his commands, he himself would punish them 7 more times.
Fun Fact: Any punishment from YHWH is bad, but the more someone didn’t listen after YHWH punished them, the more severe the punishments were. And they only got more and more severe each time!
Chapter 27: Next, YHWH gives Moshe instructions on how to figure out a price value for peoples’ vows, such as a man 20-60 years old would be worth 50 sheqels of silver.
If the person happened to be too poor to pay, they would go before the kohen (priest) and he would set a value for that person. Then there were things that have been set-apart to YHWH. Such as a house, or field and how to tithe livestock and produce.
Fun Fact: A male 20-60 years old had the higgest price to pay at 50 sheqels. Females in any range paid less than the males, and the smallest amount paid was 3 sheqels for a female a month old up to five years old.
That does it for the book of Wayyiqra (Leviticus)! Want to know more? Join us next time as we continue to read through Bemidbar (Numbers)!