Parshat Ki Tavo
(Haftara Isaiah 60:1-22)
(Pirkei Avot Chapter 3-4)
- [26:13] “I have not transgressed your commandments, nor have I forgotten them”. The Sfat Emet (Poland: 1847-1905) says that this means, “I have not transgressed your commandments, and I have been totally present while doing them”. How can a person be aware of God and be totally present at the same time?
- [26:18] “…making you His special [treasured] nation…” What does it mean to be “His special [treasured] nation”? Knowledge of this fact can lead to group ego for us and jealousy from others. Why did God tell us “publicly” that we are His special nation?”
- [28:45-48] “These curses will come upon you…because you did not serve God joyfully”. What does joy add to the service of God that makes that service into the genuine service of God?
- [29:8] “…do them in order that you should ‘taskilu’ in everything that you do.” The Sforno (Italy-1475-1550) understands this pasuk to be saying that one should “do them [the commandments] in order that you should be perceptive and understanding in everything that you do”. Some people would say that one should do the commandments in order to show devotion to God. Which of these two attitudes is the higher service of God?
- [Yeshayahu 60:14] “…all those that despised you will bow down at the soles of your feet…” This is a messianic vision. One would think that in the ideal world, there will be equality. What purpose is served by our enemies bowing at our feet?
Let everyone express in truth and in faithfulness whatever his soul reveals to him. Let him bring his spiritual creativity from potential to actual, without any deception. Out of these sparks, torches of light will be made, and they will light up the whole world with their glory. And out of fragments of inner truth, the great truth will emerge.
R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker
And to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer