Behar: Raising the Mountain



God’s natural world is as wondrous as it is diverse as it is fascinating – from forests of green trees to deserts of complete aridity; from flowers of colorful bloom to fruits of luscious deliciousness; from animals of elegant might to birds of graceful flight; from innocent children to wizened adults, and every version of human in between – the living world as we know it is a smorgasbord of life-forms.

Four are the life forms: 1) domem, inanimate objects (earth, stone, mineral); 2) tzomeach, flora, (trees, grass, flowers; 3) chai, fauna, (animals, birds, fish); and 4) medaber, “communicators,” i.e. human beings.

As nothing in life is simple, least of all life itself, each one of the four levels of life forms contains within itself aspects of the other levels. There is domem within the world of tzomeach, just as there is tzomeach within the world of domem.

The first of our double portion this Shabbat is Behar, meaning, “on the mountain.” And the mountain falls in the category of tzomeach she’b’domem, “growth within the inanimate.”

What life lessons does this teach us? What does it mean to turn the monotonous into the mountainous? Have you reached your peak?

Perhaps a tale or two regarding the wizened fools of Chelm may teach us about the summits of our lives.


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