When God instructs 'follow me', there is no room for doubt

Our challenge, as has been the challenge of every generation since Nationhood, is to improve as individual Jews and as part of Klal Yisrael.

Phil Chernofsky ,

Worshippers pray outside during coronavirus crisis
Worshippers pray outside during coronavirus crisis
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

As we've mentioned often, HaShem made His Plan known to Moshe Rabeinu at the burning bush (in Parshat Sh'mot), and then sent Moshe to tell the people - in a slightly different way (in Parshat Va'eira).
Simply put - He would take us out of Egypt, give us the Torah, and bring us to Eretz Yisrael.

This plan was NOT a pick A or B; it was and is a package deal. Non-negotiable. We are duty-bound to follow the Plan. (This doesn't mean that every Jew chooses to follow the plan, but this involves both many mitzvot, and it is R'TZON HASHEM - it is what G-d wants.

A lot has been written in this issue of TT about the TOCHACHA. One of the two major codicils to the Plan. In very strong terms, the TOCHACHA basically warns us about not sticking to the Plan.

Each presentation of the TOCHACHA (B'chukotai and Ki Tavo) is preceded by the upside of the Plan. Beautiful blessings are in store, if we keep our commitments to HaShem and His Covenants.

We shouldn't need more motivation to be faithful to G-d than these promises. AHAVAT HASHEM and AHAVAT TORAH don't even need the good promises. But it is nice that we have them.

We shouldn't need the heavy (bad and ugly) part of the TOCHACHA. We shouldn't - but we do.
Also remember that there are 'softer' versions of the warnings in the TOCHACHA.

One that we are very familiar is contained in the second passage of the Sh'ma. If we listen to (and keep) to G-d's mitzvot, then we will receive plentiful rain and abundant yield from the ground. But if we don't...

Pretty much, a toned down version of the TOCHACHA. It would be wonderful if that's all we needed - a twice daily reminder of what G-d expects from us and the reward and punishment for listening to Him or not.

But obviously, we need, and have needed, much sterner and sharper rebuke and warnings. Hence the TOCHACHA.

Our challenge - as has been the challenge of every generation since Nationhood - is to improve as individual Jews and as part of Klal Yisrael, so that the TOCHACHA will no longer by the embarrassing reminder of our failings, but will be merely part of our history - which is bad enough - and more longer applicable to us.