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Ki Tavo ~ כי־תבוא ~ 5774
The first fruits of each season are brought to the Priest in Jerusalem. The Priest places the basket before the altar and supervises the retelling of the history of Israel that led up to their inheriting the land. After the tithe had been distributed each third year for charitable purposes, the donor was to offer a prayer in which he declared that he had obeyed the commandment to set aside the tithe for the Levites, stranger, orphan and widow. Then, the Israelites invoked G-d’s blessing upon the people and the land. The mutual contractual agreement between Israel and G-d to be exclusively committed to each other is recalled here.
In preparation for acquiring dominion over the Land of Israel, four rituals were observed. The first ritual was the writing of the entire “Law” upon plastered stones. Secondly, they were to build an altar of uncut stones for sacrificing “Burnt” and “Peace” offerings. Thirdly, the entire nation was divided equally upon the two mountains, Gerizim and Eval, to receive “The Curse & The Blessing”. Following the content of the Ten Commandments, the laws were stated and the Israelites responded “Amen” to each declaration.
The observance of the Commandments shall bring limitless blessings including enjoyment, prosperity, happiness, military victories, and economic supremacy. Failure to observe would bring the opposite results. Moshe now begins his third and final discourse. He appeals to Israel to obey G-d who has watched over them in Egypt and during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
MAFTIR Deuteronomy 29:6-8 ~ page 873
HAFTARAH Isaiah 60:1-22 ~ page 874
Isaiah addresses Israel and tells that the redemption is near and that she will radiate the light of G-d’s glory to all the nations of the world. The exiles shall return and nations shall bring precious gifts by land and sea. She will receive homage from her former oppressors and be transformed into a city of splendor and joy. Peace and righteousness will replace tyranny, G-d will be her everlasting light and Zion will become numerous and mighty.
Parashah Study Questions
- Verse 26:3 states to bring the First fruits to “the Priest that will be in those days” (see also 17:9). Obviously. How could we bring anything to a Priest who lived in a previous generation?!
- What if a widow or orphan have received a large life insurance settlement. Are we still obligated to give them portions of our 10% tithe (26:12)?
- Some say the stones erected upon entering Israel had the entire Torah inscribed upon it. Others say the 613 mitzvot. Rashi says it was written in 70 languages. Why in foreign languages (27:3)?
- What is the root word of Mashgeh in verse 27:18?
- Why do the Slichot prayers begin on Saturday night? How often are they recited? Why are they recited?