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23/24 September: Parsha Ki Tavo

Shabbat comes in at 6.42 pm; goes out at 7.41 pm                        _____________________________________________________                

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Parshat Ki Tavo is most famous for its lengthy list of blessings and curses. The list of curses is so long and frightening that it is assumed that no one would want the ‘honor’ of being called to the Torah when this chapter is read. It is customary for the rabbi or the Ba’al Koreh, the Torah reader, to accept this aliyah when it is read rather than giving it to someone else!

The Torah reader often reads the curses quickly and in a hushed voice, which is the same idea behind how people used to whisper news about someone getting sick, e.g. cancer.

It is interesting to note that the blessings and curses are directed at the entire nation of Israel, not at individuals.   Through this recitation Moses reminds each person that he/she must bear personal responsibility for the fate of the entire people.

 

 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Paul Arberman

September 22, 2016