A very special Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to our dear daughter, Michal, who will be celebrating her Bas Mitzvah this Sunday.

This past Tuesday was the 12th yahrtzeit of my great aunt, Lady Amélie Jakobovits, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Mayla bas Eliyahu.

Today, the 25th of Iyar, was the 21th yahrtzeit of my mother, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Tzirel Nechamah bas Tovia Yehudah.

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.

This week's parsha contains the strong rebuke for those who do not follow HaShem's laws, known as the tochachah. There is a word which features prominently as the pesukim detail worsening shirking of duties and corresponding calamities – keri. This word is used numerous times to describe both the negative way in which we relate to HaShem and the way HaShem responds in kind. Rashi (26:21) first provides what is probably the most  well-known translation of the word – chance and happenstance. Rashi then quotes Menachem (ben Saruk) as understanding the word to mean "refraining." It refers to an attitude of holding back from doing the right thing. Rashi then connects this approach with the word used by Targum Onkelos – kashyu. Rashi explains this to mean stubbornness, a hardening of the heart to refrain from coming closer to HaShem.

There is one significant issue with these explanations of keri, in particular the association with Onkelos's translation. This problem might be a bit more evident in a non-leap year when Behar and Bechukosai are read together. At the end of Behar, we are warned (25:43) not to overwork a Jewish servant. The familiar word that is used in the pasuk is perech. Onkelos translates this word as kashyu. If perech and keri are translated with the exact same Aramaic word, surely, they must be connected.

A link between these two words is provided by Bechor Shor's translation of keri. He appears (26:21) to translate the word as a heavy burden. In the tochachah, we are warned not to act in a way that conveys that mitzvos are a heavy burden to us. And with regards to servants, we are not to treat them with overly heavy, burdensome work. This would explain why the targum uses the same word for both.

On a related note, while the targum of keri is kashyu in almost every instance, the term "chamas keri" (26:28) is rendered tekof regaz. See Bei'urei Onkelos for a detailed explanation.

Chazak, Chazak, veNischazeik!!


Have a good Shabbos.