"The Upcoming New Year is a Time of Renewal"

Learning Group—Parshat Ki Tavo

(Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)

(Haftara Isaiah 60:1-22)

1. [26:18] “…making you His special [treasured] nation…” What does it mean to be “His special [treasured] nation”? Why are we informed that we are God’s special nation. Won’t this lead to a self-centered attitude and ego?

2. [28:23] “The heavens above your head will be copper, and the earth under you will be iron”. What does this mean in a physical way, and what does it mean in a spiritual-psychological way?

3. [29:8] “…in order that “taskilu” 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 he should be perceptive and understanding in everything that he does”. What does the Sforno mean? How can doing the commandments make a person perceptive in all that he does?

4. [Haftara: Yeshayahu 60:9] “…to bring your children from far..” This pasuk is referring to the “ingathering of the exiles”—the Jews gathering in the land of Israel. Rav Kuk speaks about a personal “ingathering of one’s exiles”. What are one’s personal exiles? How does a person gather his or her personal exiles?

5. [Elul] For the general non-Jewish world, the New Year is a time of celebrating the beginning of a new year and renewing ourselves. For us the new year is a judgment day in addition to a time of renewal. What is the difference between these 2 approaches?


[28:47] “Because you did not serve Hashem, your God, with joy and a happy heart…”

When a person is introspective, and he, himself, judges all the things that he does, then there is no judgment from above. Through this introspection and self-judgment a person can come to such great joy that he wants to dance as a result of his joy.

–R. Nachman of Breslov (Ukraine, 1772-1810).

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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