Ki Tavo – The Cosmic/Earthly Dream

Theology

15 Survey from the heights of your presence in the cosmos and bless Israel your people and the land that you gave us when you swore to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Deuteronomy 26
 God's created – without moving even an atom in any direction
 God's present – without form to fill the cosmos
 God's watching – without eyes to see 
 God's blessing – without consonants, vowels, syllables or sentences 

But where are the Jewish People on this sphere orbiting a tiny star whirling around itself?

2 … Observe all these laws and commandments that I have commanded you; you, your descendant and your descendant’s offspring, all your life – so you will have a long life. 3 You have heard Israel, and you should observe it so that it will go well and your numbers will grow greatly as YHWH, the God of your ancestors, told you: a land flowing with milk and honey. [1]3. that it may go well with you. Again and again, the Deuteronomist stresses the causal link between loyalty to God and prospering in the land. This notion is variously adumbrated in earlier biblical … Continue reading

Deuteronomy 7

God was our ancestral travel guide. Our ancestors were so impressed that they came and settled on this speck of land. Here they decided to create an exceptional connection to this Land Flowing with Milk and Honey.

1 YHWH said to Avram, leave your land and birthplace and your father’s house for the land I will show you. 

Genesis 12

We claimed and reclaimed our place in history and in geography time after time for we have always been convinced that this is our arena – it all flows from here: from Abraham and Sarah to the latest group of tourists; we carry on our connection to this place.

1 By the waters of Babylon, we sat down and cried as we remembered Zion. 2 In there [2]Babylon by the willows we hung up our harps, 3 because there our captors demanded of us words to sing, our mockers said: sing us songs of joy in Zion. 4 How could we sing YHWH’s song on a foreign land? [3]Psalm 137 may picture a defining moment in biblical history. Jerusalem (or Zion) and remembering (or not forgetting) are both mentioned five times, “remember” appearing in each of the three … Continue reading 

Psalm 137

The Jewish People had dreams of the sweet delights flowing in the land of our ancestors. We had dreams of them even at times when the taste in our mouths was bitter or when the sights and sounds in foreign lands about us are forbidding.

1 A song of ascents: When the Eternal One brought our exiles back to Zion, we were like dreamers. 2 Then our mouths were filled with laughter, our language was all song; then it was said among the nations: “the Eternal has done great things for them.” 3 Great things indeed has God done for use; and so we rejoiced. 4 Bring us back, O Ever-present, as streams rush back to wadis in the Negev. 5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joy. 6 The one who plants in sadness, bearing his few sacks of seeds, will come back home in gladness bearing ample sheaves of grain. [4]Translation by Rabbi Ronald Aigen, Renew Our Days – A Book of Jewish Prayer and Meditation, 1996 https://www.dorsheiemet.com/history.html

Psalm 126

Our dream was recorded in an ancient tongue on parchment that has been passed from hand to hand. It was carried around the world while the words were chanted on the wind throughout the generations!

Listen to those words because the meaning can still be discerned.

Midrash Harabah and English translations by Rabbi Gail Shuster-Bouskila ©2021

References

References
1 3. that it may go well with you. Again and again, the Deuteronomist stresses the causal link between loyalty to God and prospering in the land. This notion is variously adumbrated in earlier biblical texts but never given the central emphasis it enjoys here as an overriding conception of history. Alter, Robert. The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary (pp. 1124-1125). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.
2 Babylon
3 Psalm 137 may picture a defining moment in biblical history. Jerusalem (or Zion) and remembering (or not forgetting) are both mentioned five times, “remember” appearing in each of the three sections. (There are also five references to “song.”) There is a discernible message here. Segal, Benjamin. A New Psalm: A Guide to Psalms as Literature . Gefen Publishing House. Kindle Edition.
4 Translation by Rabbi Ronald Aigen, Renew Our Days – A Book of Jewish Prayer and Meditation, 1996 https://www.dorsheiemet.com/history.html