Parshat Shavua: Ki Tavo

This post is dedicated in memory of Shlomo ben Aryeh Zalman. May it be an aliyah for his neshama. 

By Samantha Hulkower
This week's Torah portion spends a lot of time enumerating bad things that will happen to klal Yisrael (the Jewish people) if they stray from the Torah. As Rosh Hashanah is coming up, there must be a connection.

First, it is important to notice the language the Torah uses, "...if you do not guard to do the mitzvot and laws commanded by G-d..." (Devarim 28:15). It's not a forgone conclusion that any bad thing needs to happen. Also, the section comes after Moshe Rabbeinu lists all the blessings the Jewish people will receive for following the Torah (basically, they will always have more than enough food and supplies and will be safe - all-in-all a comfortable life).

Our Sages tell us that we can learn from this that how we choose to respond to this week's Torah portion is how G-d will respond to us on Rosh Hashanah. Do we choose to follow the mitzvot - to be kind to our parents, to eat kosher food, to be compassionate to those in need, to love our fellow Jews? If so, then G-d will respond to our compassion and love with His compassion and love towards us. It seems almost too easy - follow the rules, which include being a decent human being, and you will be blessed in life. If only everything was so easy!

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