Israel Forever

For the week ending 9 September 2006 / 16 Elul 5766

Blessings or Curses

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
One of the most difficult things for both individuals and nations is to face the fact that the troubles they endure are the consequences of their actions. Instead of interpreting their setbacks to Heavenly warnings to change their sinful ways, they prefer to shrug their shoulders and make some inane statement such as “that’s the world we live in”.

This week’s Torah reading devotes much space to blessings and curses. This tochacha, which is traditionally read in a lower voice to accentuate its gravity, makes it clear that it is our deeds, for good or evil, which bring upon us either blessings or curses.

Israel has gone through what was probably the most trying experience in its history. We have no prophet to inform us where we collectively went wrong to deserve such a curse, but the tochacha should serve as a stern reminder that things don’t “just happen” and that there is an urgent need for every one of us to improve in our relations with G-d and our fellow man in order to secure only blessings for Israel forever.

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