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Ki Tavo

  • Ki Tavo 2019

    In Ki Tavo, Moses concludes the transmission of the 613 Mitzvot to the Israelites and places before them possible blessings and curses.

    For the second time (the first being in Leviticus, Parshat Bechukotai) the Torah depicts the pain and suffering for forsaking the Torah. The Mitzvot represent a covenant between Hashem and his people. The penalties for not keeping them are terrible including damage to the Israelites homes, families and crops, as well as exile.

  • Ki Tavo 2018

    With Rosh Hashanah just over one week away I wanted to write about the Shofar. It is an interesting custom that the Shofar is blown in the morning throughout Elul.

    We all recognise the Shofar as the iconic image - and sound - of Rosh Hashanah, and most of us would probably associate the Shofar with the dramatic story of the binding of Isaac. However this does not explain the blowing of the Shofar in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah - so I offer 3 ideas to consider during Elul (there are many more reasons for the Shofar):

  • Ki Tavo 2017

    In this week’s sidrah, we read about the blessings that will come upon the Jewish people if we keep the Torah, as well as the curses if we don’t. The phrase which is used is as follows: ‘and all these blessing will come upon you, and they will reach you’. The question that is asked is, surely if you receive blessings, they will reach you, so what does this extra phrase mean?

  • Ki Tavo 2014

    I dedicate this Devar Torah to the memory of my dear father, Reb Gershon Yosef ben Shlomo, whose fifteenth Yahrzeit was last week. Much of this material comes from an essay by Rabbi Sabato from the Har Etzion Yeshiva.

    The central section of parashat Ki Tavo comprises the blessings and curses of chapter 28. This section concludes the unit begun in parashat Re'eh, where Moshe already mentions the blessing and the curse: "Behold, I place before you today a blessing and a curse." In our parasha, the blessings and the curses are given in detail.

  • Ki Tavo

    This week's parsha begins by telling us what will occur when the Jews finally conquer and settle the Land of Canaan. "It will be when you enter the Land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it, and dwell in it" (Deuteronomy 26:13).

  • Ki Tavo 2013

    The hebrew root ayin nun hey occurs twice in the opening verses of this week’s sidra.

    Firstly when the Cohen takes the baskets and gesticulates, the donor “answers” (root: ayin nun hey) and “says” the declaration. Rashi’s concern is for the redundant “answers” in the verse. In making the declaration the donor refers to the “afflictions” (root: ayin nun hey) which Jacob foresaw would befall his descendants.

  • Ki Tavo 5772

    The meaning of the name of today's Sidra is “when you come”. Moses continues his final speech by referring to the mitzvah of BIKKURIM, the First Fruit, which the Israelites were commanded to observe as soon as they entered the land. This passage is, therefore, linked to the previous commandment, mentioned in the last paragraph of the previous Sidra, to wipe out the memory of the Amalekite nation. That mitzvah, too, applied only after the settlement in the land. In the previous Sidra, Moses focused on war.

  • Ki Tavo 2012

    Parshat Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8) begins by describing the annual mitzvah for the farmers of Israel to bring their bikurim, or first fruits, to the Kohen (priest) in the Temple, at which point the farmer acknowledges the important role Hashem played in providing his sustenance. After exhorting the Jewish people once again to remain faithful to Hashem who specifically selected them as His chosen people from amongst the nations of the world, Moses teaches two special mitzvot which they are to perform upon entering the land of Israel to reaffirm their commitment to the Torah.

  • Ki Tavo 2011

    This week has been a disturbing week on UK television. The documentaries about 9/11 are too upsetting to watch – this is terror, in our time; filmed live, not in stills. The horror and the unimaginable pain of those involved is too real to consider.
    The sedra of Ki Tavo contains a most terrifying passage known as tokhachah, "reprimand" or "rebuke." They are warnings of the terrible fate that will happen to Jews if we neglect our covenant with G-d. Reading them presently, after the Holocaust, they appear to be terrible predictions of what in fact occurred. It reads:

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