Questioning faith in the parsha
Shabbat B’chukotai Modern Author Melvin Bukiet
14 But if you do not obey Me and do not observe all these commandments, 15 if you reject My laws and spurn My rules, so that you do not observe all My commandments and you break My covenant, 16 I in turn will do this to you: I will wreak misery upon you — consumption and fever, which cause the eyes to pine and the body to languish; you shall sow your seed to no purpose, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you: you shall be routed by your enemies, and your foes shall dominate you. You shall flee though none pursues.
18 And if, for all that, you do not obey Me, I will go on to discipline you sevenfold for your sins, 19 and I will break your proud glory. I will make your skies like iron and your earth like copper, 20 so that your strength shall be spent to no purpose. Your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.
21 And if you remain hostile toward Me and refuse to obey Me, I will go on smiting you sevenfold for your sins. 22 I will loose wild beasts against you, and they shall bereave you of your children and wipe out your cattle. They shall decimate you, and your roads shall be deserted.
23 And if these things fail to discipline you for Me, and you remain hostile to Me, 24 I too will remain hostile to you: I in turn will smite you sevenfold for your sins. 25 I will bring a sword against you to wreak vengeance for the covenant; and if you withdraw into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into enemy hands. 26 When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven; they shall dole out your bread by weight, and though you eat, you shall not be satisfied.
27 But if, despite this, you disobey Me and remain hostile to Me, 28 I will act against you in wrathful hostility; I, for My part, will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. 29 You shall eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your cult places and cut down your incense stands, and I will heap your carcasses upon your lifeless fetishes. I will spurn you. 31 I will lay your cities in ruin and make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not savor your pleasing odors. 32 I will make the land desolate, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled by it. 33 And you I will scatter among the nations, and I will unsheath the sword against you. Your land shall become a desolation and your cities a ruin.
34 Then shall the land make up for its sabbath years throughout the time that it is desolate and you are in the land of your enemies; then shall the land rest and make up for its sabbath years. 35 Throughout the time that it is desolate, it shall observe the rest that it did not observe in your sabbath years while you were dwelling upon it. 36 As for those of you who survive, I will cast a faintness into their hearts in the land of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Fleeing as though from the sword, they shall fall though none pursues. 37 With no one pursuing, they shall stumble over one another as before the sword. You shall not be able to stand your ground before your enemies, 38 but shall perish among the nations; and the land of your enemies shall consume you.
39 Those of you who survive shall be heartsick over their iniquity in the land of your enemies; more, they shall be heartsick over the iniquities of their fathers; 40 and they shall confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, in that they trespassed against Me, yea, were hostile to Me. 41 When I, in turn, have been hostile to them and have removed them into the land of their enemies, then at last shall their obdurate heart humble itself, and they shall atone for their iniquity. 42 Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob; I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land.