Comments of Rabbi Dovid Shteiman on Weekly Parshah Re'eh

It is written in the Torah, “Look, I set before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing, that you will heed the commandments of the Ribono Shel Olam your Hashem, which I command you today; and the curse, if you will not heed the commandments of the Lord your Hashem, but turn away from the way I command you this day, to follow other Hashems, which you did not know” (Dvarim 11:26-28).

If we carefully read this sentence, we can see that the word “look” is unnecessary. What ис Торах trying to teach us by using the extra word? Sages also ask, why the word “look”, “Re’eh”, is used in the singular, and “I give you”, “atem”, in plural?

The following story will help us understand the answers to these questions.

One rich man was looking for a suitable match for his daughter. In his town lived a nice young man, but because he came from a poor family, the father didn’t consider him ас “good son-in-law”.

Boy’s parents felt uncomfortable because they were poor. They understood that it was the reason behind refusals of proper matches for their son. They decided to turn to Baal Shem Tov, the founder of chassidus. He heard their plight and told them to wait for his answer. Heavens revealed to him that indeed these girl and boy were meant for each other, but since her father was against the match, he was going to be punished. He was to lose his fortune. Nothing was going to break what was decreed!

The next day Baal Shem Tov called the rich man to his house and insisted that he should marry his daughter to this young man. The rich man decided to trust tzaddik’s wisdom, and the wedding took place. Unknowingly, he saved his money in the merit of submitting his will to the wisdom of the Torah.

Ari Hakadosh, one of the greatest students of kabbalah, writes that each person comes to this world for a certain purpose. For each person G-d arranges circumstances so that he can reach his goal.

Netivat Shalom writes that Sages gave us advice how to determine our purpose in life. Everyone of us meets problems that arouse one quality of our character. This quality is very hard to change, and we are ready to do whatever it takes, so that not to have to fix it. That’s our goal – to fix this character trait.

Each problem leads to either blessing or curse. It can distract us from our purpose, for which we were born. Meaning of the word “look” is to see. Moshe Rabbeinu taught, “Soon I won’t be able to see and teach you which path is best for you to choose. That’s why I ask you to put over yourselves a teacher, who will help you see what to do. Never remain without a teacher”. The job of the teacher is to see what others can’t, and, often, don’t want to see.

That’s why Torah writes the word “look” in the singular, because it hints at the Teacher, one teacher, whom everyone should find for himself/herself.

Source: Ohr HaTorah