Kenneth Cohen

Those Who Bless You Will Be Blessed

There are three instances in the Torah, where we have the verse that states, “Those who bless you will be blessed, and those that curse you will be cursed.”

The Keli Yakar pointed out that when Avraham was blessed by Hashem, and when Bilaam’s curse turned into a blessing, the order was blessing first, and curse afterwards. However, in Parshat Toldot, Yitzchak blessed Yakov in the reverse order of curse first, followed by the blessing.

The explanation for this change is that it was assumed that the blessing comes first in times of trouble. A blessing is needed to help us through our יסורים, or difficulties. The curse comes in good times, when one of our detractors, wants to harm us and wishes that we fall.

In Yitzchak’s case, he felt that Yakov would be confronted by those wishing to harm him, even when he was going through difficulties. He wanted to make it clear that such evil people, will fall hard, and the real blessings would be realized in the “end of days.”

It is fascinating how we can find appropriate hints from our Parsha, to relevant current events. The Jewish people need to be reminded that all of our enemies will perish. Those whose vicious hatred of the Jews dominates them, forget that they are messing with the G-d of Israel.

Rashi wrote that the haters of Israel, are haters of the G-d of Israel. This is a desecration of His name. It is as if they negate and degrade Hashem’s ultimate power. They will soon learn the extent of the phrase mentioned three times in the Torah; “Those who bless you will be blessed and those who curse you will be cursed.”

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at