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A Dvar Torah for Ki Tavo: Deuteronomy 26:1 - 29:8

Our Dvar Torah: The Shell Precedes the Fruit!
A Dvar Torah for Ki Tavo: Deuteronomy 26:1 - 29:8

By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman ben Ya'akov © September 05 28, 2020, the 16th of Elul, 5780

In this week's Torah Portion we learn of the blessings and the curses HaShem grants to us according to the decisions we make. If we pursue and embrace His Ways we receive the blessings of the good fruit of our endeavors. But if our actions are contrary to Will of G-d, to His Divine decrees and to the laws of nature and nature's G-d, then we experience the curses due our to actions, may HaShem protect us all.

Which “fruit” do you want?

I like bananas. So I decide, that's what I want. What do I do? I discover where to get bananas, then I must go to them and not expect the bananas to come me! Once there I must purchase or pick the bananas and so on. Now I have the banana. Can I just eat it? No! I must peel it first, or remove its shell. To eat my banana there is so much I must do! As our Rebbe tells us at Likutey Moharan Lesson 35:

The Shell precedes the fruit, and whoever wants to eats the fruit must break through the shell. Likewise, before revelation the soul must enter into exile, into various trails, in order to break them open, only then does one attain the revelation.

Which is the fruit of our desires.

Let us read the teachings of our beloved Rebbe.

(Read Likutey Moharan Lesson 35)

One who seeks to “eat” without first dealing with the shell or husk may become sick but will in all cases soil the taste of the pure fruit.

Only one who has rejected and discarded the goyish shell of lust, materialism and the like can truly serve as a member of the Perfected Community of Y'israel, as Ramchal describes such people. This is our obligation as Jews, the Kingdom of Priests. As said in HaTorah:

'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles' wings, and I brought you to Me.
And now, if you obey Me and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth.
And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel."

THIS is our duty as Jews. We are not a people of sated faith, we are a people of emunah powered action! If we believe we act upon that belief!

We are to serve the Seventy Nations and to assist them in their service to G-d for the good of all existence. To do this vital work we must learn and practice emunah, we must manifest love for all living beings, always with compassion and humility. In order to help them help us we must remove the shell of egotism and materialism while maintaining the certainty of the Eternal Covenant and our unending place within it as unique servants of the HaShem and of all creatures. As Bob Dillon says, “You're gonna serve somebody! It might be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna serve somebody.”

In the present Holy Month of Elul, on this Sacred Shabbat, the Sixth of the Seven of Consolation, let us turn inwardly and bend the knee before Adonai our G-d. Let us correct our faults and cast off the shells of our imprisonment to false, restrictive ego, to jealousies, to pride, to racism, to prejudices of every sort.

And let us give Praise and Thanksgiving to HaShem, the Shield of our Protection and Deliverance. And May HaMashiach ben David come soon and in our lifetime, and may we all say, “Amen!”

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