This week we come close to completing our reading of Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus. Because we are in a leap year we read Behar separately from B’chukotai, where we read sequences of blessings and curses. Such is life in many ways. Separately and together.

I had the privilege this week to sit bedside with the mother of one of our members. She has been hospitalized and will hopefully recover enough to leave her present premises. As we spoke, she told me of her marriage to her second husband, now deceased, and she described herself in that marriage as completely content. I was so struck by the depths she found in all of love’s simplicity within that one word. Her life was not without sadness, not without grief, but her overall emotion was that of contentment. What a blessing.

We spoke in shul last week about endurance. Again, endurance is a quality we may not think of often, but in endurance we are able to look at that big picture, be it our marriage, our difficulties, or our lifetime. B’har and B’chukotai is about both contentment and endurance. Harvesting and fallow years. The blessing of rest, of Shabbat. But these parashiot are also about finding in both the blessings and admonitions of our lives the blessing of God’s light, that we may know, “I will establish my covenant with you.”

That covenant, that relationship may be difficult to find at times, but as we gather together, as we see each other, as we step up to learn, we find that endurance requires contentment, and contentment requires endurance. May we all be so blessed.

With love,
Rabbi Lynn