Shabbat Parashat Ki Tavo| 5764
Ki Tavo | | 1/8/2003
The first part of Sefer Devarim contains the commandment to give ma’asrot (tithes) (Devarim 14:22). This week’s parasha goes a step further. Before Pesach on the fourth and seventh year of the shemitta cycle, Jews would go to the Beit Hamikdash to announce that they kept all of the laws of ma’asrot properly (ibid. 26:12-14). This process is known as viduy ma’aser.
Our parasha contains a section of curses for those who violate a variety of different, negative commandments. But the final curse is reserved for one who refrains from doing the right thing, which is to “establish the words of the Torah to do them” (Devarim 27: 26). Many explanations are given for the exact meaning of this phrase.
In addition to the explicit Torah prohibition of sowing a field with the seeds of different species, Chazal derived the prohibition of grafting the branch of one tree onto another tree of a different species, in such a manner that the branch becomes attached to the host tree. This case is the connection between the prohibition of mixed sowing and that of mixed breeding of animals, which the Torah brings in tandem.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).