Parshat Ki Tavo – September 5, 2020 – 16 Elul 5780

A weekly digest of the Parshat Hashavua – Download a PDF version here.

Parshat Ki Tavo

  • Stone Chumash p. 1068, 122 verses   
  •  Haftorah: “Kumi Ori” Isaiah Ch. 60 –  Stone Chumash, p. 1201 

Important Shabbat Times

Parshat Ki Tavo is probably the most difficult parsha that we are required to read, as it describes the terrible admonitions, which would befall our people for non-compliance of the Mitzvot.  Indeed this is not the only parsha in which such an admonition is read; we similarly read one at the end of Leviticus (Parshat Bechukotai). Yet of the two, this is certainly the most powerful. Furthermore, there doesn’t appear to be any refreshing verses of consolation in sight, in this version. Nevertheless, even this terrible admonition is preceded with the glorious blessing which will come to us, if we do walk in the ways of Hashem!

Our parsha opens with the mitzvah to recite the special verses in conjunction with the bringing of the first fruits to the Temple. Today, we recite those same verses each year, with their midrashic interpretations, at the Passover seder.

In this week’s Haftorah, we are soothed by the beautiful prophecies which will be realized at the end of days. In lieu of our being despised and hated, we will be honored and praised by the very same enemies who formerly tried to destroy us. The light of the sun and moon will pale in comparison with the brilliant light of the L-rd which will accompany us wheresoever we may go. All of this is real and not a fantasy.

“I am G-d, at the right time I will hasten!” The Rabbis ask, “Well, which is it? A fixed time, or a speeded up time?” They answer that it depends upon us. If we prove ourselves worthy then the Messianic era will be rushed in; if not there will at least be a fixed time for the realization of these prophecies. 

By the way, the opening line of the Haftorah has found its way in the Lecha Dodi prayer- Hitoreri Hitoreri Ki va orech kumi ori – Awaken, Awaken, for your  light has arrived – rise and shine!