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Ki Tavo

Ki Tavo

5 Facts About Parshat Ki Tavo that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Friday October 29th, 2021

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וְעַתָּ֗ה הִנֵּ֤ה הֵבֵ֙אתִי֙ אֶת־רֵאשִׁית֙ פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥תָּה לִּ֖י ה' וְהִנַּחְתּ֗וֹ לִפְנֵי֙ ה' אֱ_לֹהֶ֔יךָ וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוִ֔יתָ לִפְנֵ֖י ה' אֱ_לֹהֶֽיךָ׃

Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil which You, O LORD, have given me.” You shall leave it before the LORD your God and bow low before the LORD your God.

1.     Who is exempt from having to make the “Declaration of Thanks” when bringing their Bikurim:

  • The following people are exempt from having to make  the Declaration of Thanks  when bringing their Bikurim:
  1. One  who owns the trees but not the field  in which they’re planted.
  2. One who is  bringing the first fruits  on behalf of someone else.
  3. An orphan's guardian bringing on their behalf
  4. Women (since the Land was only divided among the men.)[1]


2.     What are the 7 elements to the  Bikkurim pilgrimage:

  • There  were 7 elements to the  Bikkurim pilgrimage:
  1. To bring the bikkurim to the Temple
  2. To present them in a container or basket
  3. To recite  the Declaration of Thanks
  4. To sacrifice  a peace offering.
  5. The chanting of  Psalms by the Leviim
  6. To lift and wave the basket
  7. To remain  in Jerusalem until the next morning.[2]


וְכָתַבְתָּ֣ עַל־הָאֲבָנִ֗ים אֶֽת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֛י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בַּאֵ֥ר הֵיטֵֽב׃ (ס)

And on those stones you shall inscribe every word of this Teaching most distinctly.

3.     What miracle took place when they wrote the Torah on the Stones?

  • From here the Talmud learns that they miraculously wrote the entire Torah in 70 languages on the stones.[3]


וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־לֹ֤א תִשְׁמַע֙ בְּקוֹל֙ ה' א_לֹהֶ֔יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֤ר לַעֲשׂוֹת֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֺתָ֣יו וְחֻקֹּתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם וּבָ֧אוּ עָלֶ֛יךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָל֥וֹת הָאֵ֖לֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגֽוּךָ׃

But if you do not obey the LORD your God to observe faithfully all His commandments and laws which I enjoin upon you this day, all these curses shall come upon you and take effect:

4.     What miraculously happened when Moshe uttered these words?

  • When Moshe said these words the earth trembled, the heavens moved, the sun and moon were darkened, the stars did not shine, the Patriarchs cried in their graves, the animals were silent, and trees did not sway. The Patriarchs wondered how the Jewish people would survive should they sin. God reassured them that, at the very least, the merit of the covenant He made with them would serve to protect the Jewish people from destruction.[4]


יוֹלֵ֨ךְ ה' אֹֽתְךָ֗ וְאֶֽת־מַלְכְּךָ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תָּקִ֣ים עָלֶ֔יךָ אֶל־גּ֕וֹי אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹא־יָדַ֖עְתָּ אַתָּ֣ה וַאֲבֹתֶ֑יךָ וְעָבַ֥דְתָּ שָּׁ֛ם אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִ֖ים עֵ֥ץ וָאָֽבֶן׃

The LORD will drive you, and the king you have set over you, to a nation unknown to you or your fathers, where you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone.

5.     To who is this verse referring to?

  • This is said to be a reference to the last Jewish King, King Agrippa II, who was raised in Rome, influenced by Rome’s culture, and as such, was responsible in causing the exile. It could also be an allusion to another Jew - Aristobulus. When the two Chashmonaim brothers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, were  fighting for the throne they both sought help from the Roman. The Romans  installed Hyrcanus (the weaker one) as the new King and took Aristobulus to Rome as a prisoner. This event was also responsible for the exile as it gave the Romans control of Eretz Israel.[5]

[1] Meam Loez, Baba Batra 81a, Sifri

[2] Mishne Torah Hilchot Bikkurim 3:12-14

[3] Rashi, Sotah 32a

[4] Targum Yonathan

[5] Ramban

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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