Bechukotai – 2 June 2016 / 25 Iyyar 5776

The first words of this week’s parasha are:  “Im bechutokai teileichu,”  literally, “If you will walk in my laws….”  (Lev 26:3) Some of you may know that the Hebrew word for Jewish law is halakhah, which is related semantically to the word teileichu (you will walk) in this verse.  It comes from the Hebrew root –hey-lamed-chaf–, which means to walk or go.  So to follow the mitzvot, the commandments of Judaism, is really to “walk” in the right path or to “go” the right way.  In other words, following Jewish law will lead you on a path of a good and righteous life.  In Reform Judaism, we do not consider ourselves bound to traditional Jewish law or halakhah in a strict sense, but we use those laws as guidance for our lives, helping us to define for ourselves what laws and practices help us “walk” a meaningful and holy life..