"If you follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them, I will give your rains in their time, the Land will yield its produce, and the tree of the field will give forth its fruit…" (Leviticus 26:3-4).

Reward and incentive must be condign for their recipients. When a child cleans his room he is awarded a candy or toy, and when the electrician rewires a home he is compensated with a (rather handsome…) check for his efforts. You would be hard pressed to find a competent electrician willing to do any job for, say, three candies an hour! Similarly, the spiritual person views material wealth with disdain. In his eyes, this world and all its luxuries are merely a means towards an end; with the service of his Creator and the spiritual heights and rewards achieved by their means as the ultimate prize. Why, then, does the Torah inundate us with assurances of material prosperity as compensation for our good deeds? Where are the promises of supernal pleasures in a spiritual Paradise? Or better yet, shouldn't the Torah describe the greatness of service which stems from a deep love for G‑d, without any thoughts of reward or compensation?

Where are the promises of supernal pleasures in a spiritual Paradise?Lag b'Omer always falls in proximity to the Torah reading of Bechukotai, when we read these promises of earthly rewards. Lag b'Omer is the day when we celebrate the life and teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar, and the first one to reveal the deepest teachings of Kabbalah, nishmata d'oraita, the "soul" of the Torah. The soul, which is not perceptible to the naked eye, animates the body of every living creature. So, too, the teachings of Kabbalah infuse life within the "body" of the Torah, revealing the spiritual implications inherent – but hidden – within every word and law mentioned in the Scriptures, Mishna, or Talmud.

The world, too, is comprised of body and soul. The body consists of the physical mass as well as the more spiritual elements of creation, such as logic, emotions, pleasure, etc. G‑d's Ten Utterances are the soul, which constantly provide existence, life, and sustenance, to all created beings. Just as the soul is the driving force of every function of the body, so, too, Creation is completely dependent on its spiritual soul.

Studying the soul of Torah reveals the soul of Creation. The teachings of Kabbalah, especially as explained by the chassidic masters, shed light upon the true nature of Creation, unlocking its inner dimension, and allowing every person to intellectually perceive the G‑dly essence of all that exists.

The spiritual rewards which result from serving G‑d are to be expected—logically, spiritual service spawns spiritual benefits. It is unnecessary for the Torah to state the obvious. In truth, however, the physical and spiritual are but one body and are entirely interdependent, so the Torah's rewards must "trickle down" into the physical realm as well. If the rewards were limited to the spiritual arena, that would demonstrate the existence of a schism between the two seemingly opposite entities. The physical rewards mentioned in the Torah are thus an expression of the unity and harmony between Creation and its Creator.

So treat your soul to a class on the soul of the Torah, and your eyes will then be opened to the soul of creation. The bodies too will gain from this experience: your understanding and appreciation of the "body" of Torah will increase, you will make the "body" of the world into a holier place, and G‑d's blessing will be showered upon your body as well!