Sunday, August 12, 2012

Midrash YALKUT SHIMONI on Parashat EKEV

Photo: Miriam Woelke


Those of you studying Judaism in depths know that there are quite a few Midrashim around. The majority of texts or Rabbis usually refer to the two most famous ones: Midrash Tanchuma and Midrash Rabbah. However, there are many many more Midrashim around and I personally like to study (when I have got the time) the Midrashim Yalkut Shimoni and Yalkut Re'uveni

Nevertheless, it is not "only" the Yalkut Shimoni making the following statement on Parashat EKEV. I know that EKEV was already read yesterday but Yalkut Shimoni's thought itself is always interesting. 

By making the statement, Yalkut Shimoni is quoting a sentence from Sefer Mishlei 11:21 and saying that G – d didn't give the Mitzvot to the Jewish people in order that the reward (for carrying out Mitzvot) will be given immediately. On the other hand, when a Gentile is doing a Mitzvah (keeping the Seven Noachide Laws) he will be receiving his reward right away (interpretation of Sefer Devarim 7:10). Meaning that Jews may only receive their reward in Olam Habah whereas Gentiles usually receive their reward in Olam HaZeh. 

Moreover, G – d definitely had His reason for not letting people know their exact reward. Lets say a Jew is saying a Bracha before eating or drinking: He usually does so according to different levels. If he does it because it is part of his frum routine and he learned it from his parents, well, this may be one of the lowest levels. 

If he fulfills the Mitzvah because out of fear of G – d, he carries out the Mitzvah but also on a lower level. The highest level of carrying out Mitzvot is the love of G – d. The problem is that if we knew what kind of reward we receive from G – d, we would carry out certain Mitzvot much more than others. Depending on the level of reward. This is the reason why we don't know our reward for doing such and such. 

Some very interesting points we should never forget. Sometimes we think that we already know all this but it is always good to be reminded.

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