Ki Tavo: A Summary of the Parashah

Moses instructs the Israelites regarding the first fruit offering; Moses then lists the blessings for keeping the commandments and the punishments for disobeying them.

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The following article is reprinted with permission from Jewish Family & Life.

Moses continues his last speech before the Israelites, "When you dwell in the promised land, take a selection of the first fruits and bring them to the place God chooses for God's Name. With a priest you shall make an offering saying, 'We remember when we were slaves in Egypt. We remember how God brought us to freedom with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with signs and miracles. You, God brought, us to this land flowing with milk and honey. And now I have brought these first fruits that you, God, have given me.'

"You shall cast yourself down before the Presence of God and you shall rejoice in all the good that God has given you and your household. You shall also give portions to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. They shall eat it within your gates and be satisfied. In the third year of giving portions, you shall say in God's presence that you have followed the commandments for giving regularly to those less fortunate. You shall then ask God to bless the Israelites and the soil.

"On this day God commands you to carry out these laws and social ordinances with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall, today, hearken to God and promise to keep all God's laws. Today, God said that you shall be a people belonging to God alone. God will place you high above all the nations God has created. You will be a proclamation for God's Name and for God's glory. You shall be a holy people to God.

"When you enter the promised land, you shall make an altar with stones to God with the words of this Teaching. You shall make offering there and rejoice before God."

"Pay attention," Moses says, "and hear O Israel, on this day you have become a people to God, your God. Follow all of God's commandments. The priests shall say to the people upon Mount Gerizim: 'Cursed is the man who makes a graven or molten image which is an abomination to God.' And all the people shall raise their voices and say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed is he who moves the boundary marker of his neighbor.' And all the people shall say 'Amen.'

"'Cursed is he who misleads a blind man, or twists what is rightfully due to an orphan or stranger or widow.' And all the people shall say 'Amen.'

"'Cursed is he who commits incest, with parent or step-parent or sibling. Cursed is he who lies with any animal.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed is he who strikes down his neighbor in secret or a takes a bribe to strike down a man in innocent blood. Cursed is he who does not uphold the Teaching to carry them out.' And all the people shall say: 'Amen.'

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Nancy Reuben Greenfield

Nancy Reuben Greenfield has written three adaptations of the Torah, including an
interactive family version at, and an engaging
Jewish immigrant novel, The Golden Medina, available on itunes and Amazon.