In this week’s reading Moses repeats the covenant, including the blessings and curses (Deut. 28:1-69)
presented in Leviticus (26:3-46), but with certain changes in form and content. For example, only in this
week’s reading is a specific cause of all the curses mentioned (28:4547): ” All these curses shall befall you;
they shall pursue you and overtake you until you are wiped out because you did not heed the Lord and keep the commandments that He enjoined upon you Because you would not serve the Lord your G-d in joy and gladness over the abundance of everything. Simply put, this means that even the absence of joy in
worshipping the Lord has weight in determining the calamity likely to befall Israel. Maimonides writes in Hilkhot Lulav (8.15)” The happiness with which a person should rejoice in fulfilling the commandments and loving God who commanded them is a great service.
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