Parashat Ki Tavo; Deuteronomy; Chapter 26 Verse 1 – Chapter 29 Verse 8

09/05/2017 04:47:38 PM

Sep5

General Overview: Following the last two Torah portions that focused on Justice and the value of individual rights, Moshe directed the nation’s attention to the realities of what it meant to live in the Land of Israel.

Our behaviors, as well as natural law, are subject to the word of G-d and interface with each other in the most intimate example of cause and effect. As the Chosen People, our lifestyle should manifest the ever-present mastery of the Creator over mankind and the realization of the connection between our adherence of Mitzvot and the laws of nature. This is most apparent in the Land of Israel. As Moshe told the Jewish people in Parshat Ekev, (11:12) “It is therefore a land constantly under Hashem’s scrutiny…” As clearly as the rain and dew fall, the land reflects G-d’s presence. Keeping the Mitzvot of the Torah proclaims in word and deed G-d’s mastery over man and results in nature serving man as her accepted master. By ignoring or opposing the Torah we deny G-d’s mastery over man; and in turn, nature opposes man’s attempts at mastery over the natural world.

During the 40 years of the desert, the Jews were being prepared to accept the reality of Hashem’s mastery and the responsibility of keeping His Mitzvot. Now, in Parshat Ki Tavo, as they were poised to cross the Jordan river and assume their intended place as “… highest of all the nations on earth.” (28:1) Moshe commanded a number of declarations and ceremonies. These ceremonies would underscore the cause and effect relationship that exists between adherence to Torah, the laws of nature, and the divine responsiveness of the land.

1st & 2nd Sections: The Torah portion begins with the Mitzvot of the first fruits and the completion of the Tithing cycles. Both are accompanied by special declarations of Hashem’s mastery over the land, and man’s responsibility to keep the commandments of Hashem.

3rd, 4th & 5th Sections: Moshe presents a statement of allegiance between Hashem and His People. We are to keep the Torah and Hashem guarantees us praise, fame and glory as the “highest of all the nations”. (26:19) Upon crossing the Jordan river, the Nation will publicly declare its acceptance of Hashem’s covenant by: inscribing the Torah upon twelve stones; erecting them as a monument; and the ceremony of blessings and curses that is to take place between the opposing mountains, Grizim and Eval.

6th Section: Commonly known as the Tochecha, the admonitions and punishments. It describes the consequences that will befall the Jewish people if they ignore Hashem’s Torah and his providence. The custom is for the Reader to read this section more quickly and quietly than the rest of the Parasha.

7th Section: The Torah portion concludes with the beginning of Moshe’s final discourse. He starts by recounting the miraculous nature of the past 40 years and its clear indication of Hashem’s protection, in the present, past and future.

Haftara: Isaiah; Chapter 60 Verse 1 – 22

Haftara Summary: This week's haftara is the sixth of a series of seven "Haftarot of Consolation." These seven Haftarot commence on the Shabbat following Tisha b'Av and continue until Rosh Hashanah.

In glowing terms the prophet recounts descriptions of what will unfold during the Redemption. Beginning with the resurrection of the dead and the ingathering of the exiles, continuing with the joy and abundance the Jewish people will then experience, as well as the gifts that will be brought to G‑d from all of the nations of the world.

Finally, the Jewish nation will no longer be despised and derided, there will no longer be violence nor mourning, and G‑d will shine His everlasting light on His people.

Mon, September 25 2017 5 Tishrei 5778