Re’eh (See!)

See and know!

Deuteronomy 11:26 I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 את־ blessing, if you obey the commandments of יהוה your Elohim, which I command אתכֶם you this day. C-MATS

Question: Do we have a choice whether we obtain a blessing or a curse? Freedom of choice has been granted to every man: if he desires to turn toward a good path and be righteous, the ability to do so is in his hands; and if he desires to turn toward an evil path and be wicked, the ability to do so is in his hands. Each individual has it in his power to affect the entire world for good or bad. Chumash

Question: Who will receive the blessings? The blessings will come to you only on the condition that you hearken to (hear) the commandments (Rashi). Chumash

“Hearing” is a metaphor for blessing, because the only way a person can attain יהוה‘s blessings is if he has the ability to hear or understand what the Torah wants of him. In speaking of the world of the future, the prophet says, Surely, the days come, says Adonai יהוה, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing and obeying (Shema) אֵת words of יהוה.  (Amos 8:11). Thus, in the future, everyone will understand the message of this verse, which is that “blessing” consists of the ability to hear what is truly essential (Sfas Emes), and to pick that out from the confusion of competing messages in the world with which people are overwhelmed. Chumash

Deuteronomy 11:28 And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of יהוה your Elohim, but turn aside from the way which I command אתכֶם you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known. C-MATS

Question: How does יהוה view idolatry? One who worships an idol is considered as if he had rejected the entire Torah (Rashi), for idolatry is a rejection of יהוה. One who violates other commandments is surely worthy of punishment, but his tie to יהוה is not broken. Chumash