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In the Limelight (Ki Tavo)

Preview: In this week’s parshah, b’nei Yisrael are instructed to station themselves in a valley and plaster stones with “lime” (שיד). Why? Well, there’s one other “valley of lime” (שיד) in the Torah – עמק השדים, where the war of Sodom took place, all the way back in sefer Bereshit. Is there any connection between that story, and this week’s parshah? As it turns out, there are many. In fact, when we look carefully, and the sense we walk away with is that Moshe’s address in sefer Devarim is shot through with veiled allusions to the history of Lot. Why would Moshe do such a thing? Recall the challenge Moshe faced immediately before this sefer began – two-and-a-half tribes clamoring to reside east of the Jordan – and the pieces begin falling into place…

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