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Behar: Ralbag: Action & Heart

The 6th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Levi ben Gershon (Ralbag), philosopher, and commentator on Chumash: “You shall perform My decrees, and observe My ordinances and perform them; then you shall dwell securely on the land (Vayikra 25: 18).” The verse stresses performance of decrees, and not, guarding, which refers to awareness of the heart, for it is possible that one would think that the awareness of the idea of statutes is sufficient, and that performance is not as necessary; we must be aware of the need for absolute obedience to God even when we do not understand. The Torah therefore stresses the performance.


However, Ordinances, are teachers that lead to more performance, and therefore the Torah stresses guarding them with awareness in our hearts.

We can use this as a Kavanah before observing a Mitzvah: “Please help me use this Mitzvah to learn more about serving You.”

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