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Home » Re'e

Re’e: Divine Confidence

Submitted by on August 6, 2006 – 4:15 amNo Comment | 1,336 views

Blessing and Listening

Our Parsha this week begins with the words, “See I have set before you blessing and curse. The blessing…. that you shall listen to the voice of G-d your lord.”
I would like to point out two of the many anomalies inherent in this curious verse.
  1. It is interesting to note that G-d treats the blessing as a foregone conclusion. He doesn’t stipulate that he will bless us only if we listen to him, he informs us that he will bless us because we will listen. Yet not all Jews are observant. Why does the Torah ignore this reality?
  2. One would think that listening to G-d is a necessary yet insufficient condition for reward. To earn our reward we should be required to move beyond listening to actual observance. Yet the verse stipulates that listening alone merits G-d’s blessing, why is that?

The Desire is There

Kli Yakar offers a single thought that satisfies both questions. We cannot know for certain that every Jew will obey the commandments but we can know that every Jew will listen to them and at least want to obey. Circumstances may intervene and prevent one from obeying but the desire is always there.

And so is the Blessing

As such, G-d carefully chooses his words. “That you shall listen” not “If you shall listen.” That we will listen is a foregone conclusion and as soon as we do G-d promises his blessing. He doesn’t passively wait for us to obey him but offers his blessing in advance. He realizes that the conditions created by his blessing will enable us to follow through.

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