Dvar Torah Parshat Ki Tavo 5770 2010

When the farmer brought his first fruit to the Bet Hamikdash he recounted our ancient history. One of the things he said is: VAYARE’U OTANU HAMITZRIM, “The Egyptians dealt badly with us…” (Deut. 26,6) This means, of course, that the Egyptians mistreated us. The more correct grammatical expression would be VAYARE’U LANU, “they treated us badly”. Using the word OTANU instead of LANU implies that the Egyptians made us look bad by implying that we were the bad ones and were not acting properly. They made us appear as the perpetrators of evil.

In light of modern history and how the State of Israel is treated in world politics we can readily understand the distinction made here. The Egyptians tried to intimate that they were acting righteously and that the Israelites were not. They attempted to demonstrate that the Israelites were the aggressors and hence had to be dealt with.

In a similar fashion today, instead of recognizing honestly what is preventing peace in the Middle East, the nations of the world demonize Israel and try to demonstrate that it is Israel who threatens the peace of the region and is responsible for the world troubles.


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