Ki Tavo 5778

Friday, August 31, 2018

Chapter 28 contains the potential blessings and curses we would receive for either following or not following the Torah's laws respectively. The Or Hachaim (28:21 and 28:47) splits up the Tocha'cha, or "Rebuke" into different sections by what is being addressed in each. Verses 21-44 address the punishments for not keeping the negative commandments. This is because the verse opens up with potential afflictions that would cling to us. Similarly, we afflict ourselves spiritually with "ailments" that cling to our soul. Verses 47-58 address the punishments for not doing the positive commandments. The verse states that we didn't worship G-d with happiness and wholeheartedly. The punishment is measure for measure as we would be sent into exile and "worship" the tyrant who enslaves us. If we don't accept the yoke of commandments, we'll get an actual physical yoke on our necks from our enemies.
The Or Hachaim then asks the question, why did Moshe have to repeat the concept of rebuke? The Torah already did so at the end of Sefer Vayikra! He offers the suggestion that the rebuke in Bechukosai was addressing the people as a whole; all the pronouns there are in the plural tense. One would think that if a good amount of the people were keeping the Torah's commandments, G-d would overlook the minute amount of people not doing so. This is not the case. Moshe used the singular tense here to stress the idea that G-d focuses on us as individuals as well.
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