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The Systems of the Jewish Year

Re’eh!

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

“See! I give to you today the blessing and the curse.”

This portion of the Torah is called “See!”

Why “See!” Why should we be seeing here more than in everything else that Moshe transmitted to us from G-d?

Why not “See! I am the Lord your G-d who took you out of Egypt?” Or, “Look here! Keep the Shabbat holy!” Why in this Parsha does Moshe tell us to “See!” It could have simply said: “I am giving you today a blessing and a curse.”?

It seems that blessing and curse does not only require our actions, they require our consideration. In essence Moshe was saying, ‘People of Israel, you have some thinking to do and some choices to make in life. Consider everything I have told you since we stood at Mt. Sinai. Think of the ramifications of everything you decide. You can choose blessing and you can choose curse.’

Perhaps, the action point of the Torah here is not the choices we make, not what we should decide but to ‘see’ and to ‘consider’ the options before us. The analysis and process that goes into making this decision.

Fundamentally, we can wonder why there is even an option for evil in this world. If G-d does not want evil, why does He allow to be? Why do we have the option to choose a curse over a blessing altogether?

The answer can only be that if there would only be good in this world, if evil did not exist, what would we ever have to consider? We would lose the most rewarding process of life; that is to see the paths before us, weigh them carefully, consider the outcome and choose wisely.

To join this process we must be blessed with the ability to open our eyes. Moshe taught us about the most powerful ability that a human has. Moshe taught us to see, to behold, to analyze, to consider and then make good choices.

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