Parashat Ki-Tavo / פרשת כי־תבוא
Parashat Ki-Tavo is the 50th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the seventh reading of Devarim (“Deuteronomy”). Ki Tavo (כִּי-תָבוֹא) means When You Enter and are the second and third words of the parashah, in which Mosheh (Moses) begins by instructing us as to how we are to present our firstfruits offering each year when we are living in the Land HaShem our Elokim (G-d) is giving us; what to do and say, when, where, and why. Mosheh then proceeds to discuss the year of tithing and what we are to say before HaShem when we have obeyed the related instructions.
As the mediator of the covenant between HaShem and His people, Mosheh restates the essential covenantal declarations made by the parties. Parashat Ki Tavo then records the instructions Mosheh and the Ziknim (Elders) gave us for the day we crossed over the Yarden (the Jordan River). After this, Mosheh and HaKohanim HaLevi’im (the priests of the Levites; a.k.a. the Levitical priests) together declare that the people of Yisrael (Israel) have become a people for HaShem, and therefore we must obey Him.
Parashat Ki-Tavo then records additional instructions Mosheh gave the people to perform after crossing the Yarden, pertaining to the pronouncement of blessings for our faithfulness and curses for unfaithfulness. The Torah records these blessings and curses at length. All of these comprise the words of the covenant HaShem commanded Mosheh to make with us in the Land of Moav (Moab), besides the covenant that He had already made with us at Khorev (Horeb).
Parashat Ki-Tavo concludes with the brief summary Mosheh spoke to us of the events from Mitzrayim (Egypt) up until that day, exhorting us to keep the words of the covenant and to do them, that we may prosper.
Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8
1st Aliyah: Deuteronomy 26:1-11 (11 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 26:12-15 (4 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 26:16-19 (4 verses)
4th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 27:1-10 (10 verses)
5th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 27:11-28:6 (22 verses)
6th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 28:7-69 (63 verses)
7th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 29:1-8 (8 verses)
Maftir: Deuteronomy 29:6-8 (3 verses)
Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Isaiah 60:1 – 60:22
Messiah in the Parashah
Messiah, the Firstfruits of the Dead
You will say before HaShem your G-d, ‘…I have been obedient to the Memra of HaShem my G-d and have done according to all that You have commanded me.’
And Mosheh, and the priests, the Levi’im spoke to all Yisrael: ‘Listen and hear, Yisrael: ‘Today are you a people before HaShem your G-d, and you will listen to the Memra of HaShem your G-d and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day.’
You will say before HaShem your G-d, ‘…I have been obedient to the Memra of HaShem my G-d and have done according to all that You have commanded me.’ / ‘…we have listened to the voice of the Memra of HaShem; I have done according to all that You have commanded me.’
If you will indeed be obedient to the Memra of HaShem your G-d, to observe and to do all His commandments that I command you this day, HaShem your G-d will set you on high above all the peoples of the Earth; and all these blessings will come upon you and remain with you, if you will be obedient to the Memra of HaShem your G-d.
If you will not obey the Memra of HaShem your G-d, to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes that I command you this day, all these curses will come upon you and cleave to you.
The Memra of HaShem covenanted with our fathers to give the Promised Land to us.
Our father Ya’akov went down into Aram Naharia in the beginning and Lavan sought to destroy him, but the Memra of HaShem saved him out of his hands.
Hear, Yisrael: HaShem our G-d is one Lord; that He may be your G-d, and that you may walk in the ways that are right before Him, and keep His statutes, commandments, and judgments, and be obedient to His Memra. And Memra of HaShem acknowledges you with one acknowledgment in the world this day, as it is written, ‘Who is like Your people Yisrael, a peculiar people on the Earth, to be to Him a people beloved as He has said to you, and that you may obey all His commandments?
You have chosen the Memra of HaShem to be king over you this day, that He may be your G-d. But the Memra of HaShem becomes the King over you for His Name’s sake, as over a people beloved as a treasure as He has spoken to you, that you may obey all His commandments.
Listen, Yisrael, and hear: This day are you chosen to be a people before HaShem your G-d. Listen, therefore, to the Memra of HaShem your G-d, and perform His commandments that I command you today.
Mosheh the prophet answered and said, ‘Whoever I threaten I threaten conditionally, saying, ‘If you do not listen to the Memra of HaShem your G-d in neither observing nor doing all my commandments and statutes that I command you this day, then shall all these maledictions come upon and cleave to you.”
If you do not perform all the commands of this Torah written in this scroll, to reverence this glorious and fearful Name, HaShem your G-d, the Memra of HaShem will hide the Ruakh HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) from you.
And Mosheh called to all Yisrael and said to them, ‘You have seen all the plagues which the Memra of HaShem did in the land of Mitzrayim on Faroh, and all his servants, and all the inhabitants of that land; those great temptations, signs, and wonders which you saw with your eyes. And the Memra of HaShem has given you a heart not to forget, but to understand.’
Good Deeds in the Parashah
Take from the first fruit of the ground that you will bring in from your land and put it into a basket and go to the place that HaShem your Elohim will choose and make the declaration instructed to the kohen.
Testify in the presence of HaShem your G-d as instructed when the priest takes the basket from you and sets it down in front of His altar.
Make the prescribed declaration in the presence of HaShem your G-d when you have finished tithing all the tithe of your produce in the third year.
Set up great stones and whitewash them with whitewash them on the day that you cross over the Yarden into the land that HaShem your G-d is giving you, and write all the words of this Torah on them.
Set up great stones on Mount Eival and whitewash them with whitewash on the day that you cross over the Yarden into the land that HaShem your G-d is giving you, and write all the words of this Torah on them.
Build the altar of HaShem your G-d there of whole stones, and cause elevation-offerings to ascend above it to HaShem your G-d.
And slaughter peace-offerings there, and eat there, and rejoice in the presence of HaShem your G-d.
The tribes of Yisrael will stand on Mount Eival and Mount Gerizim as designated, responding as instructed to the Levi’im pronouncing the words of the curse.
Keep the words of this covenant and do them, so that you will succeed in all that you will do.