Bechukotai: Chapter 1

"Remember now what Balak king of Moab devised"


Rabbi Chiya opens by saying how happy are those whose Master reproves them out of His care for them. Rabbi Yosi says even though God told Yisrael to remember Him, when they cry out to him He does not pay attention to them. Rabbi Yehuda disagrees, and contends that if God had not remembered them, Yisrael would not have survived even a single day in exile. He says that when a man wants some action from God he must arouse it through a holy deed or speech below. Similarly, those who want to arouse actions from the Side of Defilement arouse their aspect through action and word of mouth. Rabbi Yehuda draws a distinction between divination and enchantment, and says that Yisrael's deeds are always done in holiness - there is no divination or enchantment in them. God reminds Yisrael of the acts that He has done for them and the protection He gave them while they were attached to Him.