Rebecca Masinter

Ki Savo - Laws of the Land

Parshas Ki Savo opens with וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ, “And it will be when you come to the land”, and continues with bikurim and other mitzvos hateluyos ba’aretz, commandments that we are only obligated to fulfil in the land of Israel. In truth, much of Sefer Devarim is filled with mitzvos the Jewish people can only fully observe in Eretz Yisrael, the land they were about to enter after forty years in the wilderness. Many of these mitzvos were already taught in previous Parshiyos, but Moshe Rabeinu reviewed them in his final speech to the nation before they entered the land. The Ramban tells us that even the mitzvos that seem new to us in Sefer Devarim, were actually taught earlier during the forty years, they just weren’t recorded in the Torah until this point when Moshe reviewed them. Here is a great parenting tip straight from Moshe Rabeinu! When something out of the ordinary is going to happen, parents can tell their children in advance what will happen and how they should behave, and then immediately before the event they review it again just like Moshe did! For example, now is a good time to talk to our little children about Rosh Hashanah and the shofar, and how we’re going to go together to shul to hear the shofar, and what they need to know. (For example, shul is a place where we behave respectfully and quietly, we’ll walk slowly in the halls, and we’ll go quietly to and from our seats, etc.) This conversation can happen now and repeatedly over the next week as needed. But then, right before we walk into shul on Rosh Hashanah, we say it one more time: “Do you remember what we do and don’t do in shul on Rosh Hashana? Can you remember to walk, not run, and be totally quiet once we’re inside?” Effective mothers do this all the time, before trips to the grocery store, museums, airplane travel, before guests come over and so on. Advance preparation combined with review at the time of the event, is a winning combination, both for Bnai Yisrael on the brink of Eretz Yisrael and for our children.