|Week of August 22, 2010 Shabbat Ki Tavo - Elul 18, 5770|
This week the Parasha is Named Ki Tavo. Ki Tavo is famous for the Blessings and the Curses. In fact the reader usually softens his voice so that no one will hear the curses. This does not happen in a Kabbalisitic Minyan because the Mekubalim teach that the curses are really Blessings in disguise.
Ki Tavo means "When you come". It is a similar use of the verb as in the Parasha Bo which means come. The sentence should read when you go into the land. While we don't have a midrash that teaches it specifically as we do from Bo the same truth applies. HaShem is allowing Moshe to say When you come to the Land with HaShem beside you.
There is a famous story that teaches us to not fear the difficult parts of our life. I apologize if you have heard it before but i think it bears repeating at this juncture, as we go into Elul and start our preparation for Taf Shin Ayin Aleph - 5771.
A man died and went to heaven and confronted God. I had a difficult life. When they showed me the movie of my life i saw two sets of footsteps when life was easy and only one set of footsteps when times were hard. Where were you God when i needed you?
God with his infinite patience said "Son, you don't understand. When their was only one set of footprints - they are mine and i was holding you like a baby.
This leads us to understand the essence of this Parasha. It is appreciation. There is a spiritual law that we constantly forget. Last year (almost two years now) when the financial crises began did any one thank God for helping them through the crises? This is just an indication of how we constantly forget our spiritual work. When things get tough say Thank YOU HaShem!
The spiritual law that i mentioned above is simple: It says to receive more you first must appreciate what you have. Without the appreciation you can not get more. You have created a blockage to being able to receive more from Hashem. There is a corollary to this law also. The only reason one looses something be it a family member (Has V'Shalom), or finances, or health is because HaShem wants to give you more. So always thank HaShem for these calamities.
You have all heard the adage (paraphrased): I thought my life was hard until i saw someone who had no home; Then i thought my life was hard until i saw someone with no health; Then i thought my life was hard until i saw someone with no legs. Take this adage to heart each and every day and thank HaShem for what you have; and always ask for more for someone else. Remember when you ask for someone else you receive it first.
By the way, i apologize for not reminding you to say Thank you when the financial markets crashed. Yet Elul is a month that makes Tshuva easier so utilize that tool to thank Hashem for wanting to give you more and allowing you to cleanse so relatively easily.
There are 21 spaces in the Parasha which connects us to the name Echia אהיה. This is a famous name from the Burning Bush with Moshe. I am what I am or more accurately i will be what i will be. or even more accurate I will be what I am. Know that this Name is with us during these periods of crises. Know that we will come through any down period with the ability to learn, grow, and enjoy because HaShem is with us.
I draw your attention to chapter 28 verse 30. It speaks of 3 very horrible happenings. Here is a translation of the verse: Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her; thou shalt build a house, and thou shalt not dwell therein; thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not use the fruit thereof.
This may remind you of similar wording (Deuteronomy Chapter 20 starting at Verse 6) when the Torah discusses a man going out to war and who will become exempt from war. In that case the order is reversed. First it talks about the vineyard, then the idea of building a house and then finally getting married.
The Zohar explains that the order in this weeks Parasha is for "fools" while the order in the earlier "war" section is the correct planning for our lives. The Zohar is teaching that a man should first provide for his family with resources (financial means) and a house before he marries. This will give him time to earn his living, save for the future and still study Torah which is why he has all of the other things. Then he can marry and while he may not have time to study Torah then the earlier Torah study will be to his merit and continue to provide for his family.
How many people learn this lesson? How many people marry before the resources are available to support a family? The pattern of behavior in the past 500 years in the Shetl's of Europe was to arrange a marriage for your son at 18 and your daughter at 16. They were then supported by the Parents until the Boy finished Yeshiva (Torah Study) and then he went to business to support his family himself.
Are you ready to teach this to your children? Are you ready to support your childrern when they marry early? Before they have finished college in our generation! Are you ready to appreciate the Wisdom of the Torah and follow its suggestions?
Enjoy the Reading!
P. S. I really suggest you read last years email to help you understand this years. The link is on the left near the top. It will help you to understand what is written here.
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Announcement 3: This is a weekly e-letter about the Parasha. Sometimes there will be all of the links - sometimes due to time limitations there will not be be all of the links.
One of the main purposes of the Mitzvah of Hearing the Torah on Shabbat Morning is to receive the Metaphysical Energy we will need during the next week. Please strive to hear the Torah Reading each week for this benefit.
Chanoch Ben Yaacov
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