Parashat Ki Tavo

Parshat Ki Tavo Elul 5768-2008 Hashem created this world through the method of dichotomy, thus we can distinguish good from evil. We are all familiar with the concept of opposites- black and white, physical and spiritual, the giver and receiver, the strong and weak, wealthy and poor, in haste and slowness, etc… It is said that often opposites are attracted to each other. When Avraham Avinu (Abraham) went east he brought with him many presents; he divulged secrets of the hidden Torah. These eventually became incorporated into ancient Chinese traditions, who in fact divide the world into 2 forces, yin and yang. What we know about yin and yang is that they are positive and negative forces that act together in order to create energy. These two forces are in constant movement and are at battle to gain dominance .The aim is to achieve a balance that creates a supportive, nurturing environment. Har Gerizim and Har Eval are the two mountains that reside side by side in the center of the Land of Israel representing the two forces of the blessings and the curses. Here, Am Yisrael were given again the Torah, this time in the Land itself while they themselves participated in the actual blessings and curses. This Torah was and indeed is a living contract about worshiping G-d through actions, in creating an environment in which positive G-dly energy flows to achieve the kingdom of G-d in the world. When Am Yisrael do all that they are commanded, they are blessed with an easy and secure passage through life. However, if they “tip the scale” and ignore Hashem’s commandments, evil will dominate, and they will be cursed with only tragedy. It doesn’t mean that Har Eval is an evil place or that Har Gerizim is a good place. They are both very good holy places in the Land of Israel, their holiness no less apparent today than days old. They are monuments that testify history, then now and forever. It goes without saying that what comes to mind is the blessing given to this place, “Shechem echad al achecha”- one shechem. Yes, two forces exist but our goal for torah loving people is to choose good, unite and become one unit. Dear readers, To actually read the parsha and look at it from our window here in Itamar, wow! We contemplate the energies sizzling up out of these mountains every day, every season, during every simcha and every heart break (our rav- Harav Binyamin Herling- was killed on Har Eval 7 years ago). It has been incredible and I wish more of you can experience it. To try and fathom why anyone in the world would call it another place belonging to another people is baffling to me. When Hashem betrothed Himself to the Jewish people he did so LE’OLAM- forever. There are several replacement theologies that have gone on since we were thrown out of our Land because of our sins 2,000 years ago. Some say that we are no longer the chosen people. Some say this land does not belong to us anymore. WE SAY however, Hashem is engaged to us LE’OLAM- forever. The Torah is a formula for how to live. It is not just believing but it is a lot of doing. Where is it done? Well, just read the parsha. Every Shabbat we read these portions that are talking about REAL places. We have returned to your desolate cities and we too (the Jewish people that live here) are a testimony to our covenant with Hashem. This is not Narnia and I am not about to crawl out of a closet, it’s only a dream come true. Shabbat Shalom- Leah Goldsmith

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