Ki Tavo- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 5.7: Debarim (Deuteronomy) 26:1-29:8
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Ki Tavo (Ki Tabo)
Meaning: “When you come in”
The Torah Portion this week is called Ki Tavo (כי תבוא), meaning “When you come in”. This portion goes over a few things the children of Yasha’el are to do when they come into the land- first fruits, and the blessing and cursing of the people.
Chapter 26: To go over a few things, let’s remember that all throughout Debarim (Deuteronomy), this is a speech that Moshe is giving the children of Yashra’el before he passes away. He’s been recalling the journey and going over rules the people will need to remember to live by. And now, Moshe reminds the people that when they come into the land, to remember to give their first portion of fruits from the land to YHWH. After all, he is the reason they’ll even have the fruit in the first place! So this was to be a time of rejoicing, and this was one of the acts the people were to do to set-apart YHWH, and show their thankfulness for bringing them out of bondage and to a land flowing with milk and honey. This process was also a really big help for their community too. After the gifts of food were presented to the priests (Kohanim), they were all shared with the Lewites, strangers, fatherless and widows, and everyone could eat to their satisfaction!
Fun Fact: Did you know that the tithing (giving) of the first fruits was only done every 3 years?
Chapter 27: Then Moshe instructs the people to offer offerings when they cross over, and to plaster stones and set them up, so they can write all the words of the Torah on it. The people were to eat there, and rejoice! Afterwards, the people are given the instructions to bless and curse the people. This is where Moshe goes over the Mount Eybal and Mount Gerizim scene. Here, the tribes of Shim’on, Lewi, Yehudah, Yissaskar, Yahuseph (Yoseph), and Binyamin are to bless the Mount Gerizim. And the tribes of Re’uben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali are to curse the people from Mount Eybal.
Fun Fact: Interestingly enough, the plastered stones with the Torah written on it were to be placed on Mount Eybal, the mountain that all the curses were made on.
Bonus Fact: 4 of the 6 tribes chosen to curse the people were from the sons of Leah and Rachel’s servants that were given to Abraham.
Chapter 28: The blessings (berikah) all consist of awesome things, like YHWH blessing them with all that they set their hand to do and their enemies running in 7 different directions to get away. They were to be high above all the nations of the earth, never having to borrow from other nations- they were the top of the top, and blessed in everything from their cities, to their children, livestock, food and more.
However, the curses were terribly dreadful and there was a very, very long list of bad on top of bad if they didn’t keep the commands and obey the voice of YHWH. For instance, everything great listed above being the complete opposite! Even all the plagues that happened in Mitsrayim (Egypt) but much worse. Like, even adding all the diseases not included before which they wouldn’t be healed from, hunger, thirst, and a whole lot more.
Cursed? or Blessed?
Chapter 29: But back to the bright side of things, Moshe reminded them of how the people were saved from the dreadful hardships they faced in Mitsrayim, and how they got to witness the enemies, the Mitsrites get washed away. Their garments and sandals never wore out the 40 years in the wilderness! And, they had already defeated a few of the enemies they’ve faced in the wilderness and have already conquered some of the land that would become an inheritance for them. Not a bad start! And to be continued…
Want to know more? Join us next time as we continue to read through Debarim (Deuteromony)!