The Blessing and The Curse – Converse Order, By R’ Pinchos Gershon Waxman

shabbos table“I [Hashem] will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you will be cursed.” אברכה מברכ’ך ומקללך אאר (Bereshis 12,3). The question is, why in regard to blessing does the verb precede the subject, with Hashem’s response preceding what the person does – ואברכה מברכ’ך, while by the curse, Hashem’s punishment follows the curse, with the words “will be cursed” at the end of the statement, reflecting the correct chronological sequence of events?
 
The Ohr Ha’chaim elaborates that by the positive blessing, Hashem will shower a good person with good – both before and after they do good. However, by the negative, it is imperative to teach others that if they curse Avrohom, that punishment (being cursed) will immediately follow – ומקללך אאר.
 
The Kli Yakor answers that by blessing, Hashem rewards one who thinks to do good, even prior to them actually doing the good and taking action. Therefore, He will bless those who think to bless Avrohom prior to them doing so, as opposed to those who curse, who receive punishment only subsequent to their sinful deeds.
 
The Vilna Gaon explains that rich and successful people bless with broad perspective and expansive concepts of blessing [such as a million dollars] while a poor person usually blesses with his limited concepts and small scope of minor blessing [such as a loaf of bread]. Hashem will ensure that Avrohom Aveinu will be blessed by those who are already blessed with large concepts of blessing in order that their blessings be generous, large, and broad. This differentiation does not apply to a curse.
 
I would like to suggest a fourth approach (see Toras Ha’chida). The Midrash (Rabba 24, 60) explains that Yitzchok and Rivka davened for Rivka because she was barren as a result of the blessing she received from her brother, Lavan, who blessed her that she have multitudes of children. The Midrash continues that Hashem does not want the blessing of wicked people to be fulfilled in order not to give credence to them and their blessings.
 
Hence, the blessing of a rasha [wicked person] is in effect a curse. Hashem is saying that He will ensure that Avrohom will only be blessed by those who are “good” and “blessed” in order that their blessings remain blessings and not be transformed into curses. 
 
Therefore, by blessing, it references Hashem’s blessing first – ואברכה מברכ’ך.

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