Ki Tavo, translated as “when you enter”, is this week’s parsha, covering Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8.
Agricultural rules continue in Ki Tavo, including tithing and the honor shown to first fruits.
Ki Tavo also covers expected outcomes from obedience or disobedience (blessings or curses, respectively) in great detail. Curses include some real doozies (others laying with your wife, strangers eating food from your garden, or a nasty case of thigh and knee inflammation) contrasted by the allure the blessings.There is an equal number (3) of negative and positive commandments in this parsha.
An interesting note to vegetarians: According to Rabbi Judah Ben Bathyha, in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, Jews could not rejoice without meat (from offerings). Now that the Temple no longer exists, the requirement for meat has expired, however, in replacement, Jews should not rejoice without wine.
In Ki Tavo, the reason for saying “amen” is explained, which according to the Mishnah, Rabbi Judah ben Sima found to contain three actions: oath, consent, and confirmation.
Candle lighting time for South Whidbey is 7:08 with havdalah at 8:14.
Sources of commentary:
Rabbi Ted Falcon: http://www.rabbitedfalcon.com/weekly-focus/
Reminder: Rosh Hashana begins at sundown on September 24 and 5775 is a Shmitta year.