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Ki Tavo(Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)

Ki Tavo 5762

GOOD MORNING!  Until I was 22 years old and started to learn in a Yeshiva, I always thought that there were only 10 Commandments. I was surprised to find out that there are actually 613 commandments in the Torah. There are 248 positive commandments and 365 negative commandments (for example, "Don't Steal").

There are some Mitzvot (commandments) in which we are obligated once a year (i.e. blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah), Mitzvot which are once a week (Shabbat) and Mitzvot which are daily (prayer). There are also six Mitzvot in which we are obligated every moment of the day. In Hebrew, these are called the Shesh Mitzvot Temidiot - The Six Constant Mitzvot. If you would like to know more about the 613 commandments and the Six Constant Commandments, I highly recommend that you read Sefer HaChinuch (The Book of Education), Feldheim Publishers, available in English from your local Jewish book store or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242. This gives you something to think about while you are waiting in lines or waiting for an appointment! After each Mitzvah listed below is its source in the Torah and its number in the Sefer HaChinuch.


THE SIX CONSTANT COMMANDMENTS

  1. Know There is a God (Exodus 20:2) - #25

    • He is the Creator, Sustainer and Supervisor of the Universe.
    • He created the world from nothing and it is all for our pleasure.
    • He sustains the world - it is constantly dependent on His will.
    • He supervises the world; there are no accidents. Everything is meaningful.

  2. Don't Believe in Any Other "gods" (Exodus 20:3) - #26

    • There are no other powers other than God; it is futile to rely upon any other power.
    • Saying "I can't" is a form of idol worship (if God would help you, could you?)

  3. Know That God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4) - #417

    • He transcends time and space.
    • He has no components.
    • He is totally unique.
    • There is one Source for everything that happens.

  4. Love God (Deuteronomy 6:5) - #418

    • God is the greatest pleasure a person can have.
    • You're longing for it.
    • This is all that you ever wanted, want, or will want.

  5. Fear God (Deuteronomy 10:20) - #432

    • There are consequences for your actions - the choice is yours - the reward is great.
    • Stand in awe of the Almighty and His Creation.

  6. Do Not Follow After Your Desires (Numbers 15:39) - #387

    • Stay focused on your goal; don't be distracted by your desires.


Torah Portion of the Week
Ki Tavo

This week's portion includes: Bringing to the Temple as an offering the first fruits of the Seven Species special to the Land of Israel, Declaration of tithes, The Almighty designating the Jewish people as His treasured people (Deut. 26:16-19), The command to set up in the Jordan River and then on Mount Ebal large stones which had the Torah written upon them in 70 languages, The command to have a public ratification of the acceptance of the Law from Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal; The Torah then sets forth the blessings for following the Law and the curses for not following it, and concludes with Moshe's final discourse. Verse 28:46 tells us the importance of serving the Almighty with "joy and a good heart." The last verse of the portion instructs us "You shall fulfill the words of this covenant and do them so that you will succeed in all that you do!"

 

Dvar Torah

In this week's Torah portion are the blessings for keeping the Torah and the consequences for not following the commandments. The Torah states that if you listen to the voice of the Almighty and perform the commandments, "All these blessings will come upon you and arrive to you..." (Deuteronomy 28:2). The verse seems to be repetitive -certainly if a blessing comes to you it will arrive to you!

The Isbitzer Rebbie shares an insight. When a person prays for something, what he asks for is not always the best thing for him. Studies have shown that a high percentage of lottery winners end up divorced, miserable and even broke. What we think will be a blessing for us is not always a blessing for us. Therefore, says the Isbitzer Rebbie, if one fulfills the commandments of the Torah, then the blessings will not only come to a person, but they will be actually arrive to the person as a true blessing.

The Almighty loves us like a parent loves his child. He always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is "yes," sometimes the answer is "no" and sometimes the answer is "not yet." He wants us to have everything good so that we may grow in deeds and character. When we fulfill the commandments knowing that the Almighty is the source of our blessing, then it focuses us to use the gift properly and to our benefit.


PIRKEI AVOT 2:1

"Be careful in fulfilling a 'minor' commandment as you would a 'major' commandment for you to do not know the reward for the commandments."
-- Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi



CANDLE LIGHTING - August 23:
(or go to http://aish.com/candlelighting)

Jerusalem  6:39
Guatemala 6:02  Hong Kong 6:30  Honolulu 6:37
J'Burg 5:33  London 7:49  Los Angeles 7:13
Melbourne 5:33  Miami 7:31  Moscow 7:29
New York 7:25  Singapore  6:54



QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Opportunity is missed
by most people because
it is dressed in overalls
and looks like work.
-- Thomas Edison



In Honor of a Dear Friend
Barry Gold
with love,
Sandy Rosenblum

Published: August 17, 2002

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