October 23, 2020 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Ki Tavo

In law school my contracts professor asked us when a contract - that is, a legal obligation binding both parties - is formed at the supermarket. Is it when you put the items in your cart? Is it when it's rung up by the cashier? The answer was the moment you pay the price the cashier has totaled. That came to mind in reading Parshah Ki Tavo because after the Exodus from Egypt, the forty years of wandering in the desert, all the attendant miracles, and all of the pronouncements of law, it is only now, as they prepare to enter the Promised Land, that this mass of people becomes something else. "Silence! Hear, O Israel! Today you have become the people of the Lord your God: Heed the Lord your God and observe His commandments and His laws, which I enjoin upon you this day." (Deut. 27:9-10). What follows is a listing of blessings (for compliance) and curses (for disobedience) which might be taken as the benefits and penalties sections of the contract, or covenant. Up until now it's all been theoretical. Once they enter the land of Israel and take possession, they've bound themselves to the Law as well.


Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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