Parashat Ki Tavo begins with the description of the bringing of the First Fruits. However, the second half of the parasha describes the horrendous fate that will befall the nation of Israel in the future. The juxtaposition of these two discordant descriptions is no coincidence. Parashat Ki Tavo is a lesson in learning from history.
Archives for August 2018
While it’s easy to comment on a post – all you do is type something and press ‘submit’ – actually commenting in a thoughtful way which is not just about massaging your own ego or ‘being seen to comment’ is actually way, way harder.
In Teshuvah, we go through some of the same stages as in mourning. We acknowledge the mistake—it was the wrong thing to do. We experience regret, understanding the full import of our wrongs. We reach a point where all of the regret, despair, grief, and longing to make right can find expression. We become someone else, someone who even if brought to exactly the same circumstances, would not make the same mistake again.
Grandma had a secret treasure, and she kept it buried in the dirt under the chicken wire somewhere, and that’s where she kept all her secrets, plus the addresses of her special friends.
Joe huffed. “How fast do you want me to get married?”
What does Teshuvah have to do with healing from trauma. Not much at first glance. But as a trauma survivor, I’ve come to see that there are, in fact, some intriguing connections. In fact, these connections take us straight through the lessons of Elul, from Parashat Ki Tavo and into Parashat Nitzavim.
Early Morning In Elul Villanelle The old woman sits at the Western Wall. Although she’s toothless and her eyes are dim, She sits and waits for the shofar’s call. Around her shoulders a white shawl, Her face sags, her expression grim, The old woman sits at the Western Wall. Across her hands gold bracelets fall, Read more
She flicked on the light switch, peered around and fumed. An innocent 2:00 am shuffle to the kitchen for a quick cup of water had turned into a minor nightmare and major gripe grist. Why was the stovetop she’d scrubbed that evening to a spotless sheen, now streaked with flecks of grease and cooking residue? Read more
Modern Israel’s greatest philosopher, Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, once wrote: “Literature, which pokes into every corner where there is poetry and life, has not penetrated at all into the marvelous treasure of life that is repentance.” Yael Shahar’s Returning, based on a true story but crafted with literary skill, seems meant to fit into that gap.
1) As an American, what does learning Torah do for me? If you toil very much in the Torah’s words, the Holy One, blessed be He will remove the yeitzer hara from you. If you learn Torah when it is difficult for you, your reward is one thousand; when things are going smoothly for you, Read more