This week's parsha is Ki Tavo. The parsha markes the final preparations for B'Nai Yisrael for crossing into Eretz Yisrael.
The subtitle for this Parsha could easily be "The Good and The Bad" or
"The Blessings and The Curses". Many people find this parsha a frightening or sad parsha, because of the horrible curses listed. These are warnings though and reminders of what could be if we turn our back on HaShem. It is not foretold, something sure to happen.
The offering of Bikurim is commanded reminding us how important gratitude is. We return the first portion of each of the seven species to HaShem as a reminder that everything comes from HaShem and belongs to Him. One of the first prayers is found in this parsha "When you dwell in the promised land, take a selection of the first fruits and bring them to the place God chooses for God's Name. With a priest you shall make an offering saying, 'We remember when we were slaves in Egypt. We remember how God brought us to freedom with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with signs and miracles. You, God brought, us to this land flowing with milk and honey. And now I have brought these first fruits that you, God, have given me."
The blessings and curses can be overwhelming or can be awesome and moving. Think of all of B'Nai Yisrael divided on two hillocks listening and responding in unison. In conclusion, HaShem tells B'Nai Yisrael how much they would have gained had they been more joyful while doing what He had asked of them (28:47). HaShem wants us to be happy and life is so much better once we learn to harness the power of joy. What a great reminder and way to end.
We will take both the power of joy and attitude of gratitude into our week. For a poetic look at the parsha, pop over and visit Jennifer of Mamaland.