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    Every task, action & moment – B’chukkotai

    This Shabbat we come to the end of the Book of Vayikra. Did we have any guarantee when we started Vayikra a number of weeks ago that we would be able to finish the task?

    There is never a guarantee of anything – indeed, as we all know that the Ethics of the Fathers say, “It is not your obligation to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it” (Avot 2:16).

    The verb which we translate “to complete” might have a connection with a similar verb which means “to learn” (as in the noun gemara). This suggests that a person must not only carry out the routine tasks in an unthinking way but must also learn from every task, every action and every moment.

    We can learn wisdom from teachers and books, but also from life’s experiences. As Shakespeare says, “There are sermons in stones”.

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