Ariel Ben Avraham
Ariel Ben Avraham

Parshat Ki Tavo: Living in the Promised Land

Ki Tavo is one of the most profound portions in the Torah because it illustrates the meaning of our connection with the Creator. In Ki Teitze we exit the land to fight our wars. In Ki Tavo, after those wars, we come to the land.

“And it will be, when you come (ki tavo) into the land the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance (…)” (Deuteronomy 26:1)

This portion clearly emphasizes the land as the anchor place of our relation with God’s love. It is in this land, the conquered Promised Land, where our existence, our identity as the chosen people, is fulfilled.

In this land we celebrate our unity with our God and the reason for this unity.

“Then, you shall rejoice with all the good that the Lord your God has granted you and your household (…)” (26:5-9, 11)

All this happens when we live in the land that represents life free from the negative trends in consciousness derived from the illusions and fantasies of the material world.

In this awareness we offer the first fruits of the land to our Creator, for everything we are and do in His ways and attributes reaffirm His will and our oneness with Him. In this awareness love as the material manifestation of God’s love is own cause and effect, and there is nothing else.

What is the practical purpose of being and doing love’s ways and attributes? To create a place for the Creator to dwell among us permanently, and we do that by taking care of each other, by being responsible to each other as the oneness we are in His love.

“(…) you shall give to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow, so that they can eat to satiety in your cities.” (26:12)

We understand this commandment in two ways. In its literal meaning by sharing our individual abundance with those less fortunate; and by filling lesser aspects of consciousness that are also part of our life. This is referred to as the permanent awareness of the Creator and our connection to Him, and the weaknesses we need to strengthen in order to make our lives vibrant and significant in every way.

We have to fulfill this Commandment every day simply because it is about love.

“This day the Lord, your God, is commanding you to fulfill these statutes and ordinances; and you will observe and fulfill them with all your heart and with all your soul.” (26:16)

The portion continues with our highest awareness of God’s love warning us about the consequences of separating ourselves from Him as the “curses”, starting with the cause of the all of them: idolatry (27:15), which we refer here as ego’s fantasies and illusions. These keep us apart from God’s ways and attributes as the ethical principles to safeguard our individual and collective well being.

All the curses listed are some of the improper ways in which we relate to our fellow man (27:16-20, 22-26).

The Levites also mention the blessings inherent to God’s love when we choose His ways (28:1-13), and again they warn us against idolatry.

“And you shall not turn right or left from all of the words I am commanding you this day, to follow other deities to worship them.” (28:14)

Thus we realize that there are no other true ways except love’s ways, and we need to be aware of this truth. All it takes is to be constantly aware of God’s love as our Creator, our life source, essence and true identity.

The remaining curses as we said before are not mentioned as explicit curses but as direct consequences of our separation from God’s ways and attributes as His will for us to be, to have, and to manifest.

Our Sages also understand them not only as curses but prophecies that have been fulfilled over more than two thousand years (28:15-69).

The parshah ends with a positive note.

“And you shall observe the words of this covenant and fulfill them, in order that you will succeed in all that you do.” (29:8)

Let’s be aware that the covenant with the Creator is our own success, which is also the awareness of His ways and attributes. Hence living in His will is the reason for us to be in this world. As we have said in this blog, the light is partially revealed in the Creation, and this light is God’s love.

We are in the world to reveal His presence where and when He is concealed. When we do it, we become aware that He permeates all His Creation.

“(…) the entire earth if full of His Glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)

This includes every level of our individual consciousness as the haftarah for this week confirms it.

“(…) and the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.” (60:19)

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
Related Topics
Related Posts