A peaceful scene from Eilat, Israel, taken by me this past Tuesday.
Here is a commentary on this week’s Torah Portion, written by Baruch. Blessings and Shabbat Shalom!
Parashat Ki Tavo (When you come) Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
Haftarah: Isaiah 60:1-22
In this week’s Torah portion Moses foretells Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land and an important ritual which the Children of Israel will go through. This ritual involved the 12 tribes standing on two mountains: Mount Grizim and Mount Ehval. Mount Grizim is associated with Blessing, while Mount Ehval is connected to the Curse. What is interesting is why Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Issachar, Yosef and Binyamin are commanded to stand on Mount Grizim; while Reuven, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naftali are ordered to Mount Ehval.
The first six tribes mentioned in this passage all came from either Leah or Rachel. These two women were part of Abraham’s family. Abraham is associated with Blessing. All the other tribes, except Rueven, came from either Bilhah or Zilpah. These two were maidservants and therefore associated with the Curse. Why was this? The answer is because sin and the curse go together. Where is the idea of sin found within the text? One needs to remember that the firstborn of Jacob was Rueven. He was not listed with the other brothers who came from the Matriarchs Leah and Rachel. Why was Rueven left out? The answer is found in the book of Genesis.
“And it came about when Israel (Jacob) was dwelling in that Land and Rueven went and laid with Bilhah the concubine of his father and Israel heard.” Genesis 35:22
This sinful act brought a curse upon Rueven as he lost his right as the firstborn and it was given to the sons of Yosef (See 1 Chronicles 5:1).
An important principle to learn for all of this is that it is righteous obedience to the word of G-d, which is found in faith (Abrahamic Faith) that will position a person where he will be blessed by G-d. Those who are related to sin and the bondage which accompany sin will be positioned where they will experience the curse.
Now that this Biblical truth is understood, each person must choose which heritage he or she is going to embrace— the covenantal faith of Abraham or the bondage of the two maidservants. Prior to the redemptive work of Messiah Yeshua it was impossible to choose the blessing, but now, as one reads in this week’s prophetic reading (Haftarah),
“Arise and shine, for your Light (Messiah) has arrived, and the Glory of HaShem has shined upon you.” Isaiah 60:1
All one needs to do in order to find blessing is to take heed to the words of John who said, “…walk in the Light…” (See 1 John 1:7).