The weekly portion of Ki Tavo commences with Moses directing the Israelites to bring an offering to the Temple of the first fruit harvested when they enter the land of Israel as G-d promised them. We learn from this the importance of appreciation. It was immediately upon their entry into the holy land - not in a month or a year, but rather "when you come unto the land and from the first fruit of the ground" that they are instructed to bring an offering. By immediately acknowledging their blessings of finally gaining entry into Israel after leaving Egypt as slaves, the people were able to connect to the energy of appreciation and to a higher source. Oftentimes, if we allow for the passage of time after the receipt of good fortune, we disconnect from the source of the blessing and our ego convinces us that it was our own doing. Similar to the Israelites in this portion, we must always appreciate and provide thanks at the time our blessing occurs. We also learn from this reading the importance of taking physical action. G-d, through Moses, directs the Israelites to physically bring a basket of the first fruits to the Holy Temple - not to merely say thanks for the blessing. By taking action in our lives we become further connected to the Light and more empowered than when using words alone. A clear example of how actions can speak louder than words.
In the second part of the weekly reading, Moses instructs the Israelites about tithing to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow. Although this was an agricultural tithe, we can see the importance of tithing and can connect to the energy of tithing in our own lives. Kabbalists and others believe that a 10% tithe, whether agricultural or cash-based, creates continuity and blessing. Contrary to logic and what our five senses may have us believe, the act of tithing and freely giving away something we've earned, brings greater physical and spiritual prosperity to our lives. Tithing has its roots in the Torah, starting with Abraham and continuing throughout the Torah to Moses and the Israelites. Because we are rooted in physical matters, it is hard to understand how giving away 10% of our income can create and provide for more in our lives. The process of tithing, in terms of how, where and when to give, is a complex and personal matter. However, when you believe it, and start on the road to giving freely without expectation or strings attached, you'll see it.
Ki Tavo provides a detailed description of the various blessings which will be provided to the Jewish nation if they follow the commandments and observe the word of G-d. It is also provided however, that if they do not observe the commandments and statutes set forth by G-d, a litany of curses shall "come upon and overtake them". The portion provides granular detail of both the blessings and curses which will occur depending upon the acts of the people. We learn from this the simple, yet powerful, lesson that we can determine whether we will be blessed or cursed based upon our free will and associated actions. In life, and as set forth in the Torah, there are generally two paths to take - right and wrong or good and evil. Only human beings have the ability to exercise free will and by selecting the correct path we can determine the outcome. Once we recognize that our free will and actions determine everything that happens to us, we can stop blaming other people or circumstances and take full responsibility for the events that transpire in our lives. Responsibility empowers us to make the right decisions and to connect to blessings as opposed to curses. It is interesting to note also that there are 98 curses in this portion. 98 is the numerical value of the word “tzach” which means to clean. Kabbalists suggest that by reading the 98 curses in the portion, we can connect to the energy of cleansing and receive protection from the curses.