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The Blessing within the Curse

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The Blessing within the Curse

The Alter Rebbe would read the Torah in public. One year, he was away during the Torah reading of Ki Savo, and his young son and future successor, Rabbi Dovber, heard someone else read the portion, which includes G-d’s severe rebuke of the Jewish people. The son became so distressed that he fainted, and weeks later it was still questionable whether he’d be able to fast on Yom Kippur. The chasidim later asked him: “In previous years you didn’t faint; what happened this year?” The boy responded, “When father reads it, I don’t hear curses.”
R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Alter Rebbe), R. DovBer of Lubavitch (Mitteler Rebbe), Curse; Curses, Ki Tavo, Lubavitcher Rebbe
The Blessing within the Curse
Disc 105, Program 418

Event Date: 30 Tishrei 5746 - October 15, 1985

The Alter Rebbe would read the Torah in public. One year, he was away during the Torah reading of Ki Savo, and his young son and future successor, Rabbi Dovber, heard someone else read the portion, which includes G-d’s severe rebuke of the Jewish people. The son became so distressed that he fainted, and weeks later it was still questionable whether he’d be able to fast on Yom Kippur. The chasidim later asked him: “In previous years you didn’t faint; what happened this year?” The boy responded, “When father reads it, I don’t hear curses.”

Torah is G-d’s wisdom, deriving from a realm beyond all sin, where only goodness exists. Every single verse, word or letter of Torah has equal importance and holiness – be it one of the Ten Commandments or the description of a most heinous sin.

When Torah descends down into the physical world, the negative concepts within Torah can become manifest as evil… A true tzaddik, however, maintains the ability to read it in this world, but simultaneously be bound to the highest, most Divine realms where everything in Torah stands at its source, where there is only infinite good and even the words of harshest rebuke are manifest as they truly are: an expression of G-d’s goodness and blessing.

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