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Parashat Ki Tavo English 2



YEHOSHUA LHUNGDIM


"Going in G-d's way"

Hashem will confirm you for himself as a holy people, as he swore to you-if you observe the commandments of hashem, your G-d, and you go in his ways.[devarim 28: 9]

If we observe the verse we will begin to question how the verse here is connected to us? Is am Israel not a holy nation? Is not am Israel a holy nation when they accepted the torah as we see in many midrashim that when Israel received the torah, G-d separates us from all the other nations and we already become a holy nation there land if it is a holy nation we are already a jewish what does the verse here comes to promise us?

To answer all the above questions lets observe the above verse more carefully.in truth the above verse is very much connected to us.for one reason being a jews and being a “holy” jews is much much different.it can be compared to something secular (khulin) and something holy (kodesh).eg, shabbath and yom khol.lets differentiate even among the jews.lets say a real jews and fake jews.a real jews is one who goes according to the law dictated by G-d.am Israel is a holy nation not because of a fake jews or jews.its only because of the continuation of the above verse.i.e.if we observe the commandments of hashem, our G-d and go in his ways.which means its because of real jews that we become holy.

In our parasha here, we have 6 mitzvot and one of them is to go in his ways which is written in our above verse.this mitzvah is both for men and women.lets try to understand this mitzvot.what does it mean by to go in his ways? What ways does the torah here refer to? Come and see when a man honor his father and mother when he is in old age, what is he liken to? To a king who sees his beloved friend's son and ask him: from where did you come? His beloved friend's son replied him: from my father and mother's home.the king ask him: how is your father and mother? His beloved friend's son replied him: they passed away peacefully to their resting place.the king told him: my son, may you be blessed, may you have contentment in this world as you have given repose to your father and mother in their resting place.now come and see there is a good treasure stored for you as it is written shemot 15: 26, 'and he said if you hearken to the voice of the lord your G-d...."and it says: if you observe the commandments of hashem, your G-d, and you go in his ways, in the ways of G-d.as G-d's way is merciful to the wicked and accepts them when they repent so shall you all be merciful to one another.

In other words: as G-d's way is gracious and gives free gift[matanat khinam] to someone who knows him and does not know him so shall you all be gracious and gives free gift[matanat khinam] to one another.and so too in many other traits of G-d.

The book tomer devorah too in the first chapter said that it is proper for man to emulate his creator, for then he will attain the secret of the supernal form in both image (tzelem) and likeness (demut).for if a person's physical form reflects the supernal form, yet his actions do not he falsifies his stature.people will say of him, "a handsome form whose deeds are ugly."for the essential aspect of the supernal 'form' and 'likeness' is that they are the deeds of the holy one, blessed be he.therefore what good is it for a person to reflect the supernal form in physical form only if his deeds do not imitate those of his creator? Thus it is proper that man's actions imitate the thirteen supernal attributes of mercy. (taken from the book tomer devorah).

Ohr hakhaim hakadosh tells that from our above verse until hashem shall open for you his storehouse of goodness (verse 12) is the good designation in accordance with when one observe the mitzvot lo ta'ase that is written in the words lishmor (to observe) in our chapter in the first verse. this is the reason why it repeats by saying if you go in his (G-d) ways after telling us if we observe his commandments.is not observing his commandments going in his ways? What the torah means to say by going in his ways after if you observe is that: the things that G-d commands us to distance from it himself, even if we does not do that particular things and observe his commandment it is taken as if we are going in his [G-d] ways. For by preventing oneself from doing the transgressions (averot) written in the torah one is called holy.and why does the torah exactly states for himself? To tell us that even if am Israel observe the mitzvot lo ta'ase G-d will replace the angels that are called kedoshim which G-d creates to stand before him.

So holiness of the nation depends on each of us.our verse comes here to promise us that if we go in G-d's way G-d will safeguard our offsprings from becoming contaminated or impure from other nations.and even if we already are separated from the other nations when we received the torah we can still become like them if we dont go in G-d's way.so let us strengthen ourselves.shabbat shalom!!

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