This Torah reading contains the verse: “Perform My judgments and safeguard My statutes.” “Judgments” translates the Hebrew mishpatim, referring to those laws whose rationale can be comprehended by mortal intellect. “Statutes” translates the Hebrew chukim, mitzvos whose rationale transcends our understanding. The linkage in the verse implies a reciprocal relationship. Fulfilling the “statutes” refines a person and makes him spiritually sensitive, enabling him to appreciate the rationale that exists in the “judgments,” those laws that can be grasped by our minds. Conversely, carrying out the “judgments” strengthens our spiritual potential, giving us inner fortitude so that the observance of the “statutes” will not be an overwhelming challenge.

The passage continues: “You shall safeguard My statutes and decrees and… live in them.” G‑dliness is the ultimate vitality, true and genuine life. Through the Torah and its mitzvos, a person connects to G‑d and in that way derives vitality. Moreover, the vitality that a person receives from observance is specific in nature. There are 613 mitzvos and 613 limbs and organs in the body. Each mitzvah brings vitality to a given organ or limb.

A person who derives his vitalityfrom worldly things, looks forward to those moments and focuses his life on them entirely. So too, a person should focus his life on the Torah and its mitzvos. Every moment should be one of anxious expectation, eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to experience the spiritual vitality that the Torah and its mitzvos offer him.

The latter point enables us to understand why this verse was chosen to introduce the passage concerning forbidden intimacy. When a person is able to appreciate the energy and vitality the Torah provides him, he will have an inner source of positive satisfaction and will not be drawn after forbidden indulgence.

Looking to the Horizon

As mentioned, every mitzvah establishes a connection between a person and G‑d, creating a bond that is eternal in nature. Nevertheless, in the present era, a person will not necessarily appreciate the vitalizing energy the mitzvos provide.

When will the vitality and energy of the mitzvos be fully revealed? In the era of Mashiach, when the spiritual nature of all existence will surface. Our observance of the mitzvos in the present era serves as a catalyst, hastening the advent of the Redemption, and enabling the true energy and vitality of the mitzvos to become manifest.