Drash Cards for Ki Tavo (5775)
by Marc Mangel
- To begin, I remind us of Karen’s drash from last week.
- These are the Parshiot leading to Rosh HaShana:
Re’eih or See;
Shofteim or Judges;
Ki Teitzei or Upon Going Out;
Ki Tavo or Upon Coming Into;
Nitzavim or You Stand;
- Karen noted that this is a shorthand list, in order, of how to proceed through the month of Elul.
- First, we assess ourselves — see ourselves as we have been throughout this year.
- Second, we pass two kinds of judgment on ourselves.
- We judge our going out into the world — our interactions with our neighbors, friends, loved ones, clients, employees and even our enemies.
- We also judge our relationship with the Divine; this is coming inward.
- Finally we are ready to stand before God on Rosh HaShannah.
- Today we are at the coming in. The Torah portion is about coming into the land. I want to focus on Ch 26, v 10-11 (READ)
— particularly joy of offering the first fruits. What can it mean for us today?
- That is, what is the internal aspect of Ki Tavo?
- About this parsha, R. Nisson Dov Miller, Modern Orthodox, wrote “As we approach Rosh HaShannah, many of us begin a battle within ourselves. On the one hand, we understand intellectually the need to reflect on our lives and our lifestyles. On the other hand, our inertia curtails deep reflection, and consequently, often prevents change”
- Well, I can tell you that we can rejoice in another gift — a fruit as it were — that God has given us: the ability to change profoundly, which is a large part of what separates us from all the other creatures.
- As we approach Rosh HaShannah, the days of Awe, and Yom Kippur, we should remember that among the gifts from God is our ability to change.
- We should be joyful about this gift — it is the way we can make the period of introspection – of coming into – one that allows us to ensure that next year is markedly different from the past and that we will be ready to stand in God’s presence on Rosh HaShanah.
- This drash was sponsored by Tzedaka. The Rebbe said that we need to read verses 11 and 12 together – and that verse 12 reminds us that the people could not have joy with the first fruits until the widow and orphan were taken care of.
• From this, he taught that we today cannot be joyful in our spiritual and material gifts if there is still one person who is deprived and that these verses are a call to action to help others.
- So let us all give Tzedaka this week.