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Moshiach in the Parsha - Bechukotai

Curses to Blessings

The Torah portion of Bechukotai contains some hair-raising, dire predictions of what will happen to those who do not follow the Torah. Chassidic teachings explain that these curses are actually great blessings. Because of the lofty origin of these blessings, they could not be contained in the world in their actual form, and had to descend as curses.

A similar example can be found in Talmud (Moed Katan 9a) regarding Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who was sent by his father to two sages to receive a blessing. When he returned, he told his father in dismay that rather than blessing him, the sages had cursed him! His father then explained the meaning of each “curse,” which actually was a blessing in disguise.

If the sages wanted to bless Elazar, why did they disguise the blessings as curses? We must say that these blessings came from a very high source, and, as mentioned, only a very sensitive ear could discern that they were actually blessings.

How was it that Rabbi Shimon was able to correctly interpret the meaning of the sages’ statements? In truth, all evil in this world has a root in goodness and holiness. In the future, when G-dliness will be revealed, the goodness within evil will be revealed as well, without any covering. Rabbi Shimon, the foremost expounder of the mystical teachings of Torah, lived with this lofty level of revelation at all times, and so was able to sense the blessing within the curse.




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