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Doing All The Law


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

20 Sivan 5763
Thank you for your ask rabbi page. I am very interested in what I have read there. On the entry on Perfect righteousness by Rabbi Jonathan Blass I have this question: Moses said in Deuteronomy 28:15 that if we do not observe and do all of the commandments that we would be cursed. Also in Deut. 27:26 He says "Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them." What does Moses mean here? Does this relate to the world to come?
The verse in Deteronomy 27 26 refers to someone who does not accept the veracity or the authority of the entire Torah, not to someone who out of weakness or ignorance doesn't succeed in keeping all of the commandments (Nachmanides). It also binds the courts to enforce the entire Torah (Yerushalmi Sotah 7 4). The verse in Deuteronomy 28 15 teaches that any violation of the Torah distances a person from the source of life and good, just as- in even greater measure- any observance of the Torah brings a person closer. A person's good and evil deeds are weighed on a number of levels. This concept is clarified in Sanhedrin 111a; Basing themselves on the verse in Isaiah 5 4, Rav Yochanan and Reish Lakish discuss whether Sheol awaits someone who has kept all mitzvot but one or whether it awaits only the person who has not kept even one of the mitzvot. The underlying meaning of the discussion is that even failing in one commandment reflects a flaw but even the keeping of just one commandment (if done from total commitment) means that the person has achieved a measure of perfection and eternity.
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