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Ki Tavo

English Translation

Ki Tavo

When You Enter [the Land]
Deuteronomy
26:1–29:8

Translation From The Torah: A Modern Commentary (CCAR Press)

KiTavo Deuteronomy English translation26:1] When you enter the land that the Eternal your God is giving you as a heritage, and you possess it and settle in it, 2] you shall take some of every first fruit of the soil, which you harvest from the land that the Eternal your God is giving you, put it in a basket and go to the place where the Eternal your God will choose to establish the divine name. 3] You shall go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, “I acknowledge this day before the Eternal your God that I have entered the land that the Eternal swore to our fathers to assign us.”

4] The priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down in front of the altar of the Eternal your God.

5] You shall then recite as follows before the Eternal your God: “My father was a fugitive Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation. 6] The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us. 7] We cried to the Eternal, the God of our ancestors, and the Eternal heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression. 8] The Eternal freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents, 9] bringing us to this place and giving us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10] Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil which You, Eternal One, have given me.”

You shall leave it before the Eternal your God and bow low before the Eternal your God. 11] And you shall enjoy, together with the [family of the] Levite and the stranger in your midst, all the bounty that the Eternal your God has bestowed upon you and your household.

12] When you have set aside in full the tenth part of your yield—in the third year, the year of the tithe—and have given it to the [family of the] Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat their fill in your settlements, 13] you shall declare before the Eternal your God: “I have cleared out the consecrated portion from the house; and I have given it to the [family of the] Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, just as You commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor neglected any of Your commandments: 14] I have not eaten of it while in mourning, I have not cleared out any of it while I was impure, and I have not deposited any of it with the dead. I have obeyed the Eternal my God; I have done just as You commanded me. 15] Look down from Your holy abode, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the soil You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.”

16] The Eternal your God commands you this day to observe these laws and rules; observe them faithfully with all your heart and soul. 17] You have affirmed this day that the Eternal is your God, in whose ways you will walk, whose laws and commandments and rules you will observe, and whom you will obey. 18] And the Eternal has affirmed this day that you are, as promised, God’s treasured people who shall observe all the divine commandments, 19] and that [God] will set you, in fame and renown and glory, high above all the nations that [God] has made; and that you shall be, as promised, a holy people to the Eternal your God.

27:1] Moses and the elders of Israel charged the people, saying: Observe all the Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day. 2] As soon as you have crossed the Jordan into the land that the Eternal your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones. Coat them with plaster 3] and inscribe upon them all the words of this Teaching. When you cross over to enter the land that the Eternal your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Eternal, the God of your ancestors, promised you— 4] upon crossing the Jordan, you shall set up these stones, about which I charge you this day, on Mount Ebal, and coat them with plaster. 5] There, too, you shall build an altar to the Eternal your God, an altar of stones. Do not wield an iron tool over them; 6] you must build the altar of the Eternal your God of unhewn stones. You shall offer on it burnt offerings to the Eternal your God, 7] and you shall sacrifice there offerings of well-being and eat them, rejoicing before the Eternal your God. 8] And on those stones you shall inscribe every word of this Teaching most distinctly.

9] Moses and the levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying: Silence! Hear, O Israel! Today you have become the people of the Eternal your God: 10] Heed the Eternal your God and observe the divine commandments and laws, which I enjoin upon you this day.

11] Thereupon Moses charged the people, saying: 12] After you have crossed the Jordan, the following shall stand on Mount Gerizim when the blessing for the people is spoken: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13] And for the curse, the following shall stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. 14] The Levites shall then proclaim in a loud voice to all the people of Israel:

15] Cursed be anyone who makes a sculptured or molten image, abhorred by the Eternal, a craftsman’s handiwork, and sets it up in secret.—And all the people shall respond, Amen.

16] Cursed be the one who insults father or mother.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

17] Cursed be the one who moves a neighbor’s landmark.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

18] Cursed be the one who misdirects a blind person underway.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

19] Cursed be the one who subverts the rights of the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

20] Cursed be the [man] who lies with his father’s wife, for he has removed his father’s garment.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

21] Cursed be the one who lies with any beast.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

22] Cursed be the [man] who lies with his sister, whether daughter of his father or of his mother.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

23] Cursed be the [man] who lies with his mother-in-law.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

24] Cursed be the one who strikes down a fellow [Israelite] in secret.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

25] Cursed be the one who accepts a bribe in the case of the murder of an innocent person.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

26] Cursed be whoever will not uphold the terms of this Teaching and observe them.—And all the people shall say, Amen.

28:1] Now, if you obey the Eternal your God, to observe faithfully all the divine commandments which I enjoin upon you this day, the Eternal your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2] All these blessings shall come upon you and take effect, if you will but heed the word of the Eternal your God:

3] Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the country.

4] Blessed shall be your issue from the womb, your produce from the soil, and your offspring from the cattle, your calving from the herd and your lambing from the flock.

5] Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

6] Blessed shall you be in your comings and blessed shall you be in your goings.

7] The Eternal will put to rout before [your army] the enemies who attack you; they will march out against you by a single road, but flee from you by many roads. 8] The Eternal will ordain blessings for you upon your barns and upon all your undertakings: you will be blessed in the land that the Eternal your God is giving you. 9] The Eternal will establish you as God’s holy people, as was sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Eternal your God and walk in God’s ways. 10] And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the Eternal’s name is proclaimed over you, and they shall stand in fear of you. 11] The Eternal will give you abounding prosperity in your issue from the womb, your offspring from the cattle, and your produce from the soil in the land that the Eternal swore to your fathers to assign to you. 12] The Eternal will open for you that bounteous store, the heavens, to provide rain for your land in season and to bless all your undertakings. You will be creditor to many nations, but debtor to none.

13] The Eternal will make you the head, not the tail; you will always be at the top and never at the bottom—if only you obey and faithfully observe the commandments of the Eternal your God that I enjoin upon you this day, 14] and do not deviate to the right or to the left from any of the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day and turn to the worship of other gods.

15] But if you do not obey the Eternal your God to observe faithfully all the commandments and laws which I enjoin upon you this day, all these curses shall come upon you and take effect:

16] Cursed shall you be in the city and cursed shall you be in the country.

17] Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

18] Cursed shall be your issue from the womb and your produce from the soil, your calving from the herd and your lambing from the flock.

19] Cursed shall you be in your comings and cursed shall you be in your goings.

20] The Eternal will let loose against you calamity, panic, and frustration in all the enterprises you undertake, so that you shall soon be utterly wiped out because of your evildoing in forsaking Me. 21] The Eternal will make pestilence cling to you, until putting an end to you in the land that you are entering to possess. 22] The Eternal will strike you with consumption, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew; they shall hound you until you perish. 23] The skies above your head shall be copper and the earth under you iron. 24] The Eternal will make the rain of your land dust, and sand shall drop on you from the sky, until you are wiped out.

25] The Eternal will put you to rout before your enemies; you shall march out against them by a single road, but flee from them by many roads; and you shall become a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26] Your carcasses shall become food for all the birds of the sky and all the beasts of the earth, with none to frighten them off.

27] The Eternal will strike you with the Egyptian inflammation, with hemorrhoids, boil-scars, and itch, from which you shall never recover.

28] The Eternal will strike you with madness, blindness, and dismay. 29] You shall grope at noon as the blind grope in the dark; you shall not prosper in your ventures, but shall be constantly abused and robbed, with none to give help.

30] If you [a man] pay the bride-price for a wife, another man shall enjoy her.

If you build a house, you shall not live in it. If you plant a vineyard, you shall not harvest it. 31] Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your ass shall be seized in front of you, and it shall not be returned to you; your flock shall be delivered to your enemies, with none to help you. 32] Your sons and daughters shall be delivered to another people, while you look on; and your eyes shall strain for them constantly, but you shall be helpless. 33] A people you do not know shall eat up the produce of your soil and all your gains; you shall be abused and downtrodden continually, 34] until you are driven mad by what your eyes behold. 35] The Eternal will afflict you at the knees and thighs with a severe inflammation, from which you shall never recover—from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.

36] The Eternal will drive you, and the king you have set over you, to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors, where you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone. 37] You shall be a consternation, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples to which the Eternal will drive you.

38] Though you take much seed out to the field, you shall gather in little, for the locust shall consume it. 39] Though you plant vineyards and till them, you shall have no wine to drink or store, for the worm shall devour them. 40] Though you have olive trees throughout your territory, you shall have no oil for anointment, for your olives shall drop off. 41] Though you beget sons and daughters, they shall not remain with you, for they shall go into captivity. 42] The cricket shall take over all the trees and produce of your land.

43] The strangers in your midst shall rise above you higher and higher, while you sink lower and lower: 44] they shall be your creditors, but you shall not be theirs; they shall be the head and you the tail.

45] All these curses shall befall you; they shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are wiped out, because you did not heed the Eternal your God and keep the commandments and laws that were enjoined upon you. 46] They shall serve as signs and proofs against you and your offspring for all time. 47] Because you would not serve the Eternal your God in joy and gladness over the abundance of everything, 48] you shall have to serve—in hunger and thirst, naked and lacking everything—the enemies whom the Eternal will let loose against you. [God] will put an iron yoke upon your neck until you are wiped out.

49] The Eternal will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, which will swoop down like the eagle—a nation whose language you do not understand, 50] a ruthless nation, that will show the influential no regard and the vulnerable no mercy. 51] It shall devour the offspring of your cattle and the produce of your soil, until you have been wiped out, leaving you nothing of new grain, wine, or oil, of the calving of your herds and the lambing of your flocks, until it has brought you to ruin. 52] It shall shut you up in all your towns throughout your land until every mighty, towering wall in which you trust has come down. And when you are shut up in all your towns throughout your land that the Eternal your God has assigned to you, 53] you shall eat your own issue, the flesh of your sons and daughters that the Eternal your God has assigned to you, because of the desperate straits to which your enemy shall reduce you. 54] The householder who is most tender and fastidious among you shall be too mean to his brother and the wife of his bosom and the children he has spared 55] to share with any of them the flesh of the children that he eats, because he has nothing else left as a result of the desperate straits to which your enemy shall reduce you in all your towns. 56] And she who is most tender and dainty among you, so tender and dainty that she would never venture to set a foot on the ground, shall begrudge the husband of her bosom, and her son and her daughter, 57] the afterbirth that issues from between her legs and the babies she bears; she shall eat them secretly, because of utter want, in the desperate straits to which your enemy shall reduce you in your towns.

58] If you fail to observe faithfully all the terms of this Teaching that are written in this book, to reverence this honored and awesome Name, the Eternal your God, 59] the Eternal will inflict extraordinary plagues upon you and your offspring, strange and lasting plagues, malignant and chronic diseases— 60] bringing back upon you all the sicknesses of Egypt that you dreaded so, and they shall cling to you. 61] Moreover, the Eternal will bring upon you all the other diseases and plagues that are not mentioned in this book of Teaching, until you are wiped out. 62] You shall be left a scant few, after having been as numerous as the stars in the skies, because you did not heed the command of the Eternal your God. 63] And as the Eternal once delighted in making you prosperous and many, so will the Eternal now delight in causing you to perish and in wiping you out; you shall be torn from the land that you are about to enter and possess.

64] The Eternal will scatter you among all the peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, whom neither you nor your ancestors have experienced. 65] Yet even among those nations you shall find no peace, nor shall your foot find a place to rest. The Eternal will give you there an anguished heart and eyes that pine and a despondent spirit. 66] The life you face shall be precarious; you shall be in terror, night and day, with no assurance of survival. 67] In the morning you shall say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening you shall say, “If only it were morning!”—because of what your heart shall dread and your eyes shall see. 68] The Eternal will send you back to Egypt in galleys, by a route which I told you you should not see again. There you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but none will buy.

69] These are the terms of the covenant which the Eternal commanded Moses to conclude with the Israelites in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant which was made with them at Horeb.

29:1] Moses summoned all Israel and said to them:

You have seen all that the Eternal did before your very eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his courtiers and to his whole country: 2] the wondrous feats that you saw with your own eyes, those prodigious signs and marvels. 3] Yet to this day the Eternal has not given you a mind to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

4] I led you through the wilderness forty years; the clothes on your back did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet; 5] you had no bread to eat and no wine or other intoxicant to drink—that you might know that I the Eternal am your God.

6] When you reached this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to engage us in battle, but we defeated them. 7] We took their land and gave it to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh as their heritage. 8] Therefore observe faithfully all the terms of this covenant, that you may succeed in all that you undertake.

Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary, copyright (c) 2016 by CCAR Press. All rights reserved. Translation of Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy from NJPS © 1962, 1985, 1999; CJPS © 2006. Used and adapted by CCAR Press with permission from The Jewish Publication Society and the University of Nebraska Press. No part of this translation may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, distributed, or be transmitted without express written permission from the Central Conference of American Rabbis. For permission, please contact CCAR Press.

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