Ki Tavo

תשע”ט פ’ כי תבוא

Volume 30, Issue 7

INSIGHTS from the SEDRA

Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, The Vilna Gaon, Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin and The Call of the Torah.               

ונצעק אל ה’ אלהי אבותיך וישמע ה’ את קלנו וירא את ענינו ואת עמלנו ואת לחצנו

“And we cried to Hashem and Hashem heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression.” (26:7)

The Chafetz Chaim notes that it is not written “And Hashem heard our prayers” but Hashem heard our voice, to teach us to lift our voices to Hashem when davening. Heartfelt prayer has always been the most common and most effective means with which our people have responded to hardship.                                                                                                                                                      (Chafetz Chaim)

                                                                                ושמחת בכל הטוב אשר נתן לך ה’ אלקיך וביתך אתה והלוי והגר

“And you shall rejoice in all the good which Hashem, your G-d has given you, and to your house, you and the Levite and the stranger…” (26:11)

                The Torah is making us aware that all the “good” which one possesses is of no value if he takes it only for himself and does not share it equally with those less fortunate than he. When one is ready to share in the good which Hashem has given, then he is truly in possession of “all the good”. We learn from the verse that one must implant in his mind that whatever he possesses is a gift from Hashem. This gift is given to him on condition that he exercise his ownership over it properly, by sharing it with those who are less fortunate, thereby bringing joy into their lives.                                                                                                                                                                                 (Peninim on the Torah)

היום הזה

“This day…” (26:16)

                It was on this very day that Moshe finished interpreting the Torah and adding the last mitzvot. Hence, he chose this final opportunity to urge Israel to remain committed to the observance of Hashem’s Law. (Ramban, to v. 17).

                In another explanation of the unusual emphasis upon this day, Rashi cites the Midrash to say that Moshe wanted us to always think of the Torah as being fresh and exciting, as if it had been given today. Otherwise, this verse would appear to be inconsistent with the fact that it was stated in the fortieth year after the giving of the Torah to Israel.                                                                    (Tanchuma)

ארור אשר אתה לא יקים את דברי התורה הזאת

“Cursed is he who shall not uphold the words of this Torah…” (27:7)

                Rav Shlomo Cohen, a close associate of the Chazon Ish recalls that he once complained to the Chazon Ish about someone who was not stringent in keeping the laws of the Torah. The Chazon Ish replied that the time had not yet arrived wherein all of Israel could be considered tzaddikim. Accordingly, there were no grounds to criticize that who sought leniencies.

                “Why then do you so vigorously combat and criticize a certain group in Israel for their compromises?” Rav Cohen asked.

                The Chazon Ish explained: “Compromise has no validity when it becomes a policy. A person who sometimes relies on lenient rulings accepts that he should be more stringent but finds himself in a position wherein he lacks the fortitude or will to do so. However, when a political party chooses halachic compromise as its banner, it justifies these leniencies and ridicules those who choose to be more stringent in keeping the law. This is an enormous danger, for it teaches the people to be satisfied with mediocrity.”                                                                                                                     (Parsha Anthology)

ובאו אליך כל הברכות האלו והשיגוך

“And all of these blessings shall come to you and catch up to you…” (28:2)

                Rabbeinu Bachya observes that the Torah teaches us that man need not attempt to attain these blessings. The blessings themselves will pursue him and reach him even without his efforts. Kli Yakar compares our verse to the teaching of the Talmud (Eruvin 13b), which states that one who flees from honor will find that honor pursues him.                                                             (Parsha Anthology)

 למען תשכילו את כל אשר תעשון

“In order that you succeed in all you do…” (29:8)

                The Hebrew word for “succeed” (taskilu) also means “comprehend.” Thus, the verse implies that by fulfilling G-d’s commandments, we will “comprehend all that we should do.”

                There are many aspects of life in which we struggle to determine how to act in the most spiritually positive manner. By living in accordance with the Torah’s instruction, we become sensitive to G-d’s will. This, in turn, aids us in comprehending how to act in accordance with G-d’s will in the context of those areas of life not directly governed by specific commandments.                                                                                                                                                                                                              (Likutei Sichot)