Some resources for exploring the Torah portion Ki Tavo (Deut 26:1-29:8) — also sometimes spelled Ki Thavo, Ki Tabo, Ki Thabo, or Ki Savo. Next read in the Diaspora beginning with minchah on September 14, through Shabbat September 21.
This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”
Great Sources: Garments in the wilderness
Language and Translation: Removed, Cleared Out, Rooted Out
Something to Notice: First Fruits
A Path to Follow: Arami Oved
Prayer Links: Hearts, Eyes, Ears
Photo by Manuela Kohl on Pexels.com
The Torah portion Ki Tavo closes with a wonderfully disorienting perspective, as the reading cycle prepares to leave the Israelites on the banks of the Jordan, while we, as readers, prepare for the new year. Who experienced what in the desert years? Who is about to enter the Promised Land, with instructions for bringing the first fruits? And who is in the exact same spot reached each year at this point, wondering about the meaning of the journey and what chance there is for moving forward?
“I led you for forty years in the Wilderness, your garment did not wear out from on you, and your shoe did not wear out from on your foot.” Continue Reading
At the beginning of the portion, Moses describes a declaration to be made in conjunction with the first fruits. It is, for a change in Devarim/Deuteronomy, not accompanied by commentary from Moses about the people’s lack of understanding and gratitude, despite long experience of God’s power and bounty. Instead, it is assumed that the people will be appropriately awed and grateful following the harvest.
You shall then recite as follows before your God YHVH: “My father was a fugitive Aramean. [Arami oved avi] He went down to Egypt…bringing us to this place and giving us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil which You, YHVH, have given me.” (Plaut/Stein)