Aliya Summary: And even more blessings: An overabundance of crops and G‑d’s presence will be revealed in our midst. This Aliya then describes the severe, terrifying punishments which will be the Jews’ lot if they reject G‑d’s mitzvot. The punishments include disease, famine, enemy occupation of the land, exile, and desolation of the land. The non-observance of the Sabbatical year is singled out as the reason for the desolation of the land. The Aliya concludes with G‑d’s promise never to utterly forsake us even when we are exiled in the lands of our enemies.

A significant theme of the Tochacha is the connection between the keeping of the laws of Shmita and our hold on the Land. We must alway realize that we do not keep Israel without any strings attached. We have a clear commitment and responsibility to keep the Torah and fulfill the mitzvot as individuals and as a community. Shmita was commanded in the previous Parsha. In this week’s Parsha, we are presented with the dire consequences of the disregard of this important commandment.