Walking with You
Written by: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman
In the beginning of the second Torah portion of this week, we are commanded to walk in the ways of Hashem. Rashi explains this commandment does not refer to doing the mitzvos, but rather, the effort that goes into the action of doing them. The reward for this effort as stated in the ensuing verses includes peace, prosperity, and that G-d will rest His presence with you and walk with you. How do we understand the meaning of this last blessing? How does G-d walk with you?
The Seforno (a 16th century commentator on the Chumash) explains that walking with you means that G-d is ready to interact with us wherever we may be. We should not limit our interactions with G-d to only designated places for Torah and tefillah. Yes, our synagogues and Batei Medrash are places where the presence of Hashem is felt. However, we have to understand that they do not have to be the only places.
If we do as the Torah commands us, to walk in the ways of Hashem, applying ourselves as much as we can in the effort of doing the mitzvos, we will have the ability to feel His presence wherever we are. It is not about how much we do, but rather about the effort we put forth in doing. This effort leads us and keeps us focused on strengthening our connection with G-d in our synagogues, in our homes, and wherever we may be. The more effort we put in, the more we are thinking about doing His will, which will subsequently lead to feeling His presence in all aspects of our lives.
This lesson is so true, especially in the times we are living in now. We don’t have the abilities yet to be in our synagogues. We have been davening and learning in our homes. This time period, as challenging as it has been, has provided us with insight concerning this idea. Walking in the ways of Hashem is wherever we may be at that time doing His will.