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Friday, September 7

The Weekly Shtikle - Ki Savo

The main focus of this week's parsha is the "tochacha," the rebuke. Many commentaries deal at length with the similarities between the warnings, the threats and the curses of the tochacha in Ki Savo and those found in Bechukosai. Ramban devotes much attention to the illustration of his theory that the first tochacha in Bechukosai corresponds to the first destruction of the Beis HaMikdash and the tochacha in Ki Savo corresponds to the second. 

Ramban makes a startling comment based on a pasuk in this week's tochacha (28:36): "And HaShem will bring you and your king whom you have raised above you to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known." The sages offer a number of examples of characters and events that were, in their own way, catalysts that lead to the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash and our exile from Eretz Yisroel. But Ramban suggests here that it was the travelling of King Agrippas to Rome to sign treaties that was the cause of our exile their. He adds that the pasuk hints to Agrippas by referring to the king "whom you have raised above you" and not the the king "who ruled over you," a reference to the illegitimate appointment of Agrippas as king as discussed in the gemara (Sotah 41a). Agrippas' cordial approach to our enemies encouraged our destruction and condemned us to exile at the hands of the Romans.

We have certainly seen in our time numerous futile attempts to establish treaties with those sworn to destroy us with quite drastic results. Ramban's lesson from this week's parsha has been clearly overlooked. We must learn that these events are not mere political milestones that may be easily glanced over but rather, they are pivotal moments in our history with the potential to shape our future. 

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Al Pi Cheshbon: Balancing the Shevatim 

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