Warning! Warning! The Tochachah

Warning! Warning! The Tochachah

Life is full of ups and downs and rights and wrongs. Now comes the flip-side of the blessings, the Tochachah. As mentioned, it’s quite long, 98 of them…. too long to list all of them. Instead, here’s a sample of a few of them:

Moshe said with much sadness, “Since you did not serve HaShem with joy and gladness when you had everything, you will instead suffer with…

  •         “Sickness.” (“Oh no, kidney stones! Such pain!)
  •         “Hunger – There will be a famine in the Israel and people will go hungry.” (“Oh no, I hear my stomach growling.”)
  •         “Wild animals will attack Bnei Yisrael.” (“Oh no, it’s the wolves!)
  •         “Enemies will attack Bnei Yisrael.” (“Oh no, they’re getting closer!)
  •         Destruction and exile – The Beis HaMikdash will be destroyed and the Jewish people will be scattered throughout the world. (“Oh no! Oh no!)
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Shazak insight

Double Destruction

There are many similarities between the 49 curses in Parshas Bechukosai and the 98 curses here in Parshas Ki Savo, but according to Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, a.k.a. the Ramban (1194-1270) there is one major difference:

In Bechukosai, it’s all about the first Beis HaMikdash destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Bavel, and here in Ki Savo, it’s referring to the second Beis HaMikdash destroyed by the Romans.

 

Shazak insight

The Buffer Zones

The timings of the two Tochachah-Parshiyos of the Torah fall out close to two different Yomim Tovim. But who wants to hear “curses” right before Yom Tov?!

Our wise Sages were well aware of this, so they placed a “buffer zone” in between the Tochachah and the holiday:

  1. Before Shavuos they said, “Read either Parshas BaMidbar or Naso but never Parshas Bechukosai.”
  2. Before Rosh HaShanah, these Sages proclaimed, “Instead of going from the Tochachah in Parshas Ki Savo to celebrating the New Year, make sure to read Parshas Nitzavim beforehand.”
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