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Ki Tavo: Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh: The Celestial Worlds

“Then you shall call out and say before God, your Lord (Deuteronomy 26 5).” After having a good look at our paragraph I have also found in it an allusion to our inheriting the celestial regions. The words, “It will be that when you enter the Land,” and that a person has no right to rejoice until he arrives in the land of the higher regions of which Solomon says in Proverbs 31:25: “She looks forward to the final day with laughter.” This means that even a woman of valor, such as described by Solomon as the epitome of womanhood, does not permit herself joy in this life. For her, this life is vanity and a vexation of the spirit.


The Torah continues with, “which God, your Lord will give to you,” only the land, the hereafter, is called an enduring inheritance. The reason the Torah is careful to say, “gives to you,” is because all of the treasures of this world are as nothing compared to the gift of an inheritance in the “Higher World.” No matter how much wealth anyone of us has acquired in this world, it would not suffice to acquire, to buy, even the least bit of an inheritance in the hereafter. This is why the Torah can only describe such an inheritance as a gift from God not as something we could trade for our assets in this world.

“And you will dwell there,” this is best understood in light of the description of what the righteous will be doing in the hereafter taught by the Talmud, that they will sit in the here after with their crowns on their heads (Berachot 35).

“And you will take from the First,” we can understand this according to the Zohar “Volume II, 59), that all the commandments a person performs in this life together with all the good deeds he does, are collected and stored up in the celestial regions awaiting his arrival there at which time they will serve him as an entrance card to an audience with the King of Kings, the Almighty. This idea is based on Isaiah 58:8, “That your righteousness walks ahead of you when the Glory of God gathers you in.” “And you will take from the first,” means the best, the choicest. When presenting an offering to God you will only take the best of the products this world has to offer.

“Which God, your Lord, gives to you,” this may be understood in terms of what our sages talked about an apparent contradiction between 2 verses in Psalms. In 24:1, King David says, “The earth and all of which is in it belongs to God,” whereas, in Psalms 115:16, he proclaims, “The heavens are God’s, and He has given the earth to man.” The Talmud resolves the apparent dilemma by saying that the 1st verse is true when man has failed to thank God by reciting a blessing before he enjoys the pleasures this Earth provides. The 2nd verse is true after man has obtained permission from God to treat the earth as his by means of reciting the appropriate benedictions.

In other words, once man has complied with God’s commandments, whatever he has accomplished on earth is considered as something he has accomplished in his own domain, albeit one that God has given to him as a gift. Were it not so, none of man’s actions would be of the slightest value since he would constantly toil with in a domain to which he has no claim and upon which he could not therefore make a lasting impact. When the Torah wrote, “which God, your Lord, gives to you,” it refers to the gift of the entire earth to man provided he had first complied with God’s wishes (Ohr haChaim ha-Kadosh).”

This idea that God has empowered us through his commandments is a perfect Kavanah for the morning blessing, “Who girds Israel with strength.”

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