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Seven revolutionary words

ראה אנוכי נותן לפניכם היום ברכה וקללה

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

רְאֵה אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם הַיּוֹם בְּרָכָה וּקְלָלָה.
"See, this day I set before you a blessing and a curse." These are the words that open Re'eh, this week's Torah portion. They are words that offer a comprehensive, revolutionary outlook on life. Let's study them together.
is the singular form of "see." God addresses us personally, asking each of us to stop and carefully examine what follows.
אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן
or "I give" means that God gives us the capacity to make the choice -- to bless or to curse -- that he will now articulate. Because it is a God-given responsibility, we must regard it with the utmost seriousness.
is the plural form of "before you." In transitioning from the singular to the plural, God is saying that each of our individual actions, no matter how small, influences the public at large. Everything we do has a ripple effect.
or "today" directs this message not only to our forbears who reached the Promised Land three thousand years ago, but to us today. This is not only about history, but concerns the here and now. Each moment we are given a choice and how we choose can determine the fate of the entire nation of Israel.
בְּרָכָה וּקְלָלָה
a blessing and a curse." The choice to bless or to curse -- the choice between doing good and less than good -- is up to you. Did you make the wrong choice? Go back one word to "today." You can rectify what happened in the past by making the right choice today.
May everyone succeed in choosing to bless -- and only to bless -- today and every day.


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