The older we get the more we come to realize that there are no guarantees in life. One day we are feeling healthy and secure, only to learn the next day of illness or some family ordeal.
The Torah would have us believe this week that if we follow the commandments of the Torah, that our lives will be long and blessed. But also, if we reject the ways of Torah, that our lives will be harsh and cursed. Does it really work that way? Is goodness always rewarded and evil always punished? I think not, much as I wish that such was the case.
But the Torah does present us with an important insight. Our reading this week begins with the word “if”: “If you walk by my commandments…” And so, as we think about life, we realize that the two middle letters of that word are “I” and “F,” making the word “IF.” Yes, our lives are a question and a challenge. Our lives are a possibility and an opportunity.
No matter what our age, may we use our lives to do that which is good and kind, and may we give blessing as we are blessed in the doing. Yes, the “great if” of the Torah does bring with it great consequences from the time that we are children and for as long as we have the capacity to choose our way in life.