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This week's parsha is Ki Tavo. In this week's parsha, we hear two words that sound very similar: "Vehaya" (and it will be), and "Vayehi"(and it was). According to our sages Chazal, the appearance of "Vayehi" acts as a foreshadow of harmful events, whereas, the word "Vehaya" indicates a fortunate event is approaching. For example, the Megillah read on Purim begins with the word "vayehi," signifying the imminence of a tragedy, which was the plotting of the annihilation of Jews. It's fascinating that the physical compositions of the words are so similar, yet their meanings contrast.

Talmud Masechet Megillah tells us that Rabbi Yossi was concerned by the meaning of one verse in the Torah, which is read in this week's parsha. The verse was a curse in which G-d foretold that the Jewish people would be so misguided they would compare to a blind man in the dark. This is a peculiar analogy because unfortunately, blind people cannot even see in daylight, so what difference does it make if he is blind at night or day? 

After many years of not comprehending G-d's curse, Rabbi Yossi had an epiphany while wandering in the dark one night. As he was walking he noticed a light approaching him; it was a blind man with a torch. Rabbi Yossi asked the man why he was walking with a torch when he couldn't see. The man answered that if he got hurt or lost, he wanted others to see his bright light in the dark night to help him. Rabbi Yossi suddenly grasped the significance of G-d's curse: the Jewish people will be like this individual, who, while being in a poor situation, nevertheless desired and prepared for a brighter future.

This story is related to the two terms found in the Parsha, "Vehaya" and "Vayehi." The future tense of "Vehaya" foreshadows a prosperous incident since, ideally, all of our mishaps will be rectified with future actions; much like the blind man in Rabbi Yossi's story.

Shabbat Shalom,
Aryeh, Grade 12