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Re’ei: Seforno: Rejecting Mediocrity

“See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse (Deuteronomy 11:26).” We learn from this verse, when it says, “See,” that we should always focus our eyes, not on the mediocre or the neutral, as is the custom of so many in the world, but on the fact that, “I present before you today a blessing and a curse,” 2 extremes; the blessing is success beyond just what is necessary, but that which will lead to increasing good. The curse is that which not only will deprive us of what we need, but can take away from what we already have. When we learn to view the world as an opportunity to find blessing that is unlimited, or to choose curse which will cause us to lose even that which we have, and never a neutral course, we will learn to live at the highest and most productive level (Rabbeinu Ovadiah Seforno).


SiddurI use this teaching as a Kavanah for, “You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psalms 145:16).” We are not asking only for God to satisfy our needs, but that God satisfy our ultimate desire, namely, the blessing described in this verse; the blessing of internally expansive growth and good.

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