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Ki Tavo

Ki Tavo

Ki Tavo: 3 Treasures on the Parsha

Published on Thursday October 28th, 2021

Student of the Kollel Vayizra Yitzchak, Rav Mordechai Steboun presents you with 3 small treasures on the Parsha of the week, to spiritually enhance your Shabbat table!

Respecting Parents

"Cursed is he who treats his father or mother with contempt!'' (Devarim 27,16)

It is enough for a man to despise his parents to be considered "cursed", and it is not necessary to come up with more of a shameful act than this.

Rabbeinu Yonah writes that when two brothers quarrel and hate each other, it causes suffering to the parents. This attitude is included in our verse.

One might think that this type of despicable behavior only applies when parents are still in this world, but in reality, it also concerns them after they have left this world. Disputes between children thus reflect a disregard for the honor of one's parents.

Keep in mind that when a quarrel breaks out between children, especially about inheritance (which is actually a financial dispute), all the people involved in this dispute are automatically referred to as "cursed" G-d forbid.

What If Yosef Had Been the Oldest?

"The Aramai wanted to lead my father to ruin" (Devarim 26, 5)

This verse means that Lavan, the Aramai (from the land of Aram), the father-in-law of Yaakov, caused the descent of all the people of Israel into Egypt. How?

The Alshich Hakadosh answers that in reality, the descent into Egypt began because of the jealousy of the brothers of Yosef. He explains that in general, the oldest brother is loved by the whole family. Now, if Yosef had been the oldest of the family, he would have been naturally loved and his brothers would not have been jealous of him, and the period of slavery in Egypt would not have taken place.

Yosef was very beloved although he was not the oldest, and hence the jealousy of his brothers!

Who provoked this? Lavan.  Since he mixed up Leah and Rachel at the marriage of Yaakov, Reuven, the eldest son of Leah, became the eldest of the family in place of Yosef, Rachel's eldest son!

This is why the verse indicates that Lavan, through his deception, provoked the descent of the people of Israel into Egypt.


Rav Solovetchik used to say: "It is more difficult to change a bad character trait than to complete the study of the entire Shas!"

Our Sages have not ceased to praise a person who manages to change his bad behavior or to curb his desires. According to our Sages, this change of attitude has the ability to break the rigor of judgment on Rosh Hashanah, and to do so is much more effective than fasting or other mortifications.

The Gaon of Vilna declares: "A man must be a master over his words and dominate his desires in order to deserve good judgment. Whenever a man restrains himself, he deserves the spiritual light reserved for Tzaddikim."

May we deserve this light and a favorable judgment, Amen.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rav Mordékhai STEBOUN - © Torah-Box Account

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