The portion Bechukotai discusses the many blessings that will be received by those who follow the true spiritual path. Among them, the Creator says, ”I shall bestow peace in the land, you will lie down and nothing will frighten you; and I shall remove wild beasts from the land, and a sword will not cross your land.” Literally taken, these blessings are simply that – blessings; one could understand it as such that if we follow the spiritual path, the Creator will reward us. But it is deeper than that.
The Ramban explains this verse in a different way. He writes, “If the inhabitants of the land follow the true spiritual path, the world will revert back to its original form, before the fall of Adam. There will be peace, no killing by wild animals…” As such, it is not a reward for good deeds; rather, the peace, which the Creator promises here is simply an effect of the world reverting back to the state before Adam fell, when the world was without any pain, suffering, or death. After the fall, however, the world as we know it came into being; a world including the pain, suffering, and death we witness today. The entire world—men, animals, and the inanimate—became engulfed in negativity, acting on selfish desires. And it is our job to return the world to that state before the fall.
This understanding is very important. People often mistake the spiritual path for a simple “reward” plan, such that if we do a certain amount of good deeds, we will be rewarded with a certain amount of good in return. Although this is true to a certain extent because of the law of cause and effect, that is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal for us is to contribute to creating such a critical mass of people positively transforming themselves that it enables the total transformation of the world. And achieving this ultimate state is what the Creator promises us is possible in the portion Bechukotai.
We need to remember, therefore, that our spiritual growth and transformation is not just for us, but for the world. We have the responsibility of bringing about the critical mass, and through this section in Bechukotai, the Creator gives us the strength and ability to bring about that global change, returning the world back to its ultimate state.