In Parsha Bechukotai, Hashem promises the Jewish people a great reward if we follow His commandments and the punishment of exile and persecution if we stray. It is tough love. But Hashem reminds us that even in our darkest hours, in the land of our enemies and when things seem beyond hope, we will not be cast away completely. It is hard to follow directions. The temptation to take a shortcut or “cheat” a little is sometimes overwhelming, but things sometimes taste better when we have to work or struggle a little to get to the desired end result. I am reminded of my favorite recipe (that I save for special occasions) for Osso Buco. A lot of preparation, a lot of directions and little room for error… but one bite and you can’t imagine another way. Take a chance on this one.
Have a great Shabbat.