Summary of The Weekly Torah Reading:
Parshas Ki Savo
Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section
is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person
"goes up" to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.
Following the last two Parshios that focused on Justice and the value of
individual rights, Moshe directed the nation's attention to the realities of
what it meant to live in Eretz Yisroel.
Our behaviors, as well as natural law, are subject to the word of G-d and
interface with each other in the most intimate example of cause and effect. As
the Chosen People, our lifestyle should manifest the ever-present mastery of
the Creator over mankind and the realization of the connection between our
adherence of Mitzvot and the laws of nature. This is most apparent in Eretz
Yisroel. As Moshe told the Bnai Yisroel in Parshas Ekev, (11:12) "It is
therefore a land constantly under Hashem's scrutiny..." As clearly as the rain
and dew fall, the land reflects G-d's presence. Keeping the mitzvos of the
Torah proclaims in word and deed G-d's mastery over man and results in nature
serving man as her accepted master. By ignoring or opposing the Torah we deny
G-d's mastery over man; and in turn, nature opposes man's attempts at mastery
over the natural world.
During the 40 years of the desert, the Jews were being prepared to accept
the reality of Hashem's mastery and the responsibility of keeping His mitzvos.
Now, in Parshas Ki Savoe, as they were poised to cross the Yarden and assume
their intended place as "... highest of all the nations on earth." (28:1)
Moshe commanded a number of declarations and ceremonies. These ceremonies
would underscore the cause and effect relationship that exists between
adherence to Torah, the laws of nature, and the divine responsiveness of the
1st & 2nd Aliyot:
The Parsha begins with the Mitzvot of the first fruits and
the completion of the Tithing cycles. Both are accompanied by special
declarations of Hashem's mastery over the land, and man's responsibility to
keep the commandments of Hashem.
4th & 5th Aliyot:
Moshe presents a statement of allegiance between Hashem and
His People. We are to keep the Torah and Hashem guarantees us praise, fame and
glory as the "highest of all the nations". (26:19) Upon crossing the Yarden,
the Nation will publicly declare its acceptance of Hashem's covenant by:
inscribing the Torah upon twelve stones; erecting them as a monument; and the
ceremony of blessings and curses that is to take place between the opposing
mountains, Grizim and Ayval.
Commonly known as the Tochacha the admonitions and punishments. It
describes the consequences that will befall the Jewish people if they ignore
Hashem's Torah and his providence. The custom is for the Reader to read this
Aliya more quickly and quietly than the rest of the Parsha.
The Parsha concludes with the beginning of Moshe's final discourse.
He starts by recounting the miraculous nature of the past 40 years and its
clear indication of Hashem's ever present protection, past and future.
Parsha Summary by Rabbi Aron Tendler