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Dvar for  Ki Tavo

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Dear Reader,

Welcome to the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. Many of you may not realize, but running a list with close to 19,000 subscribers has its challenges. Most weeks I get more unsubscribe requests than I do subscribe requests. What keeps me grounded and sane is the great comments and questions I get from some of you. So please keep the responses coming, and always enjoy...

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Of the many sub-topics in Parshat Ki Tavo, one especially noteworthy expression is when the Torah says, "G-d has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear until this day" (Deuteronomy 29:3). Tradition (and Rashi) has it that Moshe gave Shevet Levi (the tribe of Levi) a Torah scroll, and the rest of the nation justifiably complained that they didn't get one. But their complaint wasn't that they didn't get a scroll, but that future generations might have a problem with it. Upon hearing this complaint Moshe rejoiced! As Rabbi Liebowitz explains, he was actually HAPPY about a complaint because it showed how much they valued the Torah and their bond with G-d so much, that they even thought about the future of that bond.

BUT, if we look closer at the Passuk (verse) we'll see it even clearer.. G-d gave us eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to feel. Why does the Torah say that our hearts will KNOW? The answer is that if we feel something strongly enough, in our hearts we KNOW it to be true! The Jews knew in their hearts that they had to protect the future of the Torah by safeguarding against potential diversions. The Torah is telling us that we must look into our hearts, and do whatever it takes to preserve, maintain and grow as Jews, until our hearts KNOW what's right. And if we don't know exactly what we need to do, we must always use our eyes to look at customs of the past, our ears to listen to the existing rules, and our minds to develop our own Jewish niche. until our heart knows we've found it!

Quotation of the Week (thanks to Bodie) - Torah is compared to water also!:
"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle... Water can flow or it can crash! Be water my friend." - Bruce Lee

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Last Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2005