To continue "what-is-the-meaning-of-curses,

Traditionally we compare our relations with Hashem to three types/levels: servants, sons (אם כבנים ואם כעבדים), and spouse (שה"ש).

While I can imagine cursing and threatening a slave/servant I just can't think of cursing my beloved kids or spouse.

How the curses of the Torah can be applied to the Bechinah of sons and spouse?

  • I see the comparison to a son. But, I'm not seeing the usage / comparison to a spouse, here.
    – DanF
    Sep 23, 2019 at 19:13
  • Perhaps because they are not so much curses as they are warnings, which a concerned parent or spouse might deem relevant to inform his loved ones about. For instance, were an electrician to tell someone that inappropriately coming into contact with electrical circuits (such as plugs or wires) might sometimes prove deadly, this would normally be considered a warning, rather than a threat.
    – user18041
    Sep 24, 2019 at 4:55
  • @Lucian It appears that you're distorting the text. G-d says explicitly - "I will hunt you down personally", not "please beware of...".
    – Al Berko
    Sep 24, 2019 at 10:25
  • @AlBerko: Are we still referring to the text of Deuteronomy 28, which explicitly reads these curses shall befall you, they shall pursue you and overtake you ?
    – user18041
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


Devarim 8:5

...כי כאשר ייסר איש את בנו ה א-לוהיך מיסריך

(My rough translation):

In the same way that a man disciplines his son, so does God discipline you.

See the various commentaries via the link. I like Avi Ezer who says that when a father discplines his child, he punishes hime with his left hand but draws him close with his love, in his right. The discipline is done when the son sins against his father. The father does this so that his son will repent and show his love for his father.

The "curses" are actual warnings and a form of discipline that God places on his people (children) when they disobey God's commandments. However, even while disciplining, God still loves his children and requests that they repent from their behavior.

  • 1
    In viewing this answer, review the definition of arur in the other question. It doesn't mean "curse" like we know it ion the English language using 4-letter words or other insults. It means placing an "ouster" from society or something similar. It's a status.
    – DanF
    Sep 23, 2019 at 19:12
  • 2
    I think (thank) you truly (and unwillingly) enlightened me! You nailed it! Back in gazillions BCE the relations were exactly as you pictured it - kids (and the spouse) were [considered] the father's property and the attitude was accordingly that - just as slaves. So torturing (לענות) and beating (חוסך שבטו) a kid was a norm and thoughtfully endorsed. My mistake was to project our worldview on the previous generations, that, unfortunately, had very different stands and standards.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 23, 2019 at 19:53
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    Sorry for not marking it as accepted as I'd like to let others offer additional opinions.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 23, 2019 at 19:55
  • 3
    @AlBerko I won't delve into what happened to slaves and how, unfortunately, severe physical punishment from them was, and still is, passed onto innocent children. On the opposite spectrum, much of U.S. society encourages total freedom of any type of behavior including leaving kids all sorts of bizarre "decisions" that they shouldn't be deciding on their own. We all see the results of the lack of appropriate and strict discipline that can be appropriate without being abusive. In actuality, the Torah does not promote abuse, but promotes strict obedience. That's how it should be.
    – DanF
    Sep 23, 2019 at 21:07
  • to continue on the same note... I think this is the meaning of the end of Sotah "בן קם באביו", not meaning kids will become rude and impudent, but kids will rise to the level of their fathers, considering them equal. (same is true for equality in marriage btw). This is exatly what is happening today, kids (wives) demanding equity and us treating them equally and very differently from ages before. This is the point where the Torah becomes [ir]-less relevant being exchanged for תורה חדשה (no clue what it can be).
    – Al Berko
    Sep 23, 2019 at 21:41

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