ONCE UPON A CHASID: The Positive Curse (Ki Tavo)

Elul 19, 5772 · September 6, 2012
The Positive Curse

All these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you (28:15)

Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi himself served as 'baal korei' and read the weekly Torah portion in his synagogue. One year, Rabbi Schneur Zalman was away from Li'ozna for the Shabbos that the section of Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26-29) is read. In the Rebbe's absence, another baal korei did the reading.

Ki Tavo contains the Rebuke, a harsh description of the calamities destined to befall the Jewish people should they forsake the commandments of the Torah. That week, Rabbi DovBer (son and successor of Rabbi Schneur Zalman), a pre-bar-mitzvah child at the time, was so greatly affected by the curses of the Rebuke that he developed a heart ailment. Three weeks later, when Yom Kippur came round, he was still so week that his father was hesitant to allow him to fast.

When the young DovBer was asked, "don't you hear the Rebuke every year?", he replied: "When father reads, one does not hear curses."

By Yanki Tauber    More articles...  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Yanki Tauber is content editor of Chabad.org

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