Ki Tavo

Sep 19, 1997 is Fri, Elul 17, 5757; Sunset: 7:32pm
Torah: Ki Tavo, Deut 26:1-29:8; Haftorah: Isa 60:1-22
by Rabbi David Markel Hall

Ki Tavo, when you come. "Ki" is translated in other places, "like". The phrase, "Y'sim’cha Elohim ki-Efraim v'ki-M’nasheh", "May G-d make you like Efraim and like Maneseh", uses "ki" (the yod is absorbed in prefix form) and is translated "like" or "as". This speaks to me of a time when we enter into a place like the land Adonai has promised us. The variety of ways to understand this verse is much broader in Hebrew. When we live in a land, which allows us to obey and receive the promises of G-d, we should honor Him.

HaShem continues this dialogue by giving instructions which we are commanded to keep, the conclusion of which is found in Deu 28:1-13; "And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, … all these blessings shall come on you, … if you hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them:"

Additionally, there are curses promised to those who disobey the covenant and do not keep His commandments. If you are suffering under a curse, you should ask yourself, "Which of these commandments have I disobeyed?" Look over the whole book of Deuteronomy and see where you are at fault, confess those faults as sins, repent before the L-rd, ask Him to forgive you, and cast yourself at His mercy.

Do we place Him and His commandments first in our lives or do we chase after "other gods" by forsaking His commandments? Do we make an idol out of our jobs by saying, "Surely my company will save me in the time of trouble.", or do we truly trust HaShem to be our provider?

In Leviticus 26 we are told that we will be cast upon our Idols and be broken on them if we do not repent. Have we been cast upon our idols and been broken?

Leviticus 26 says, "{41} …if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity: {42} Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, …." How does one accept the "punishment of iniquity"? By acknowledging that the troubles are a result of having made an idol out of our job or not keeping the Sabbath properly, etc.. Acknowledging our own fault is the first step in repentance. The second step is Teshuva, return to G-d, by obeying His commandments and keeping His covenant.

The Haftorah speaks of the blessings that will pour out upon us in THESE days. Isaiah 60 "{1} Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. {2} For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you. {3} And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising."

This is preceded in Isaiah 59 with, "{1} Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: {2} But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. {3} For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness… {13} In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. {15} Yes, truth failed; and he that departed from evil made himself a prey: … {6} …and (the LORD) wondered that there was no intercessor: … {21} As for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD; My spirit that is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed's seed, says the LORD, from henceforth and for ever."

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