The opening verses of this week’s perasha is generally translated: See, I give you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing, if…; he curse if… (Deut. 11:26-28)
The translation of the opening verse, however, looses a glaring grammatical error in the Hebrew, because the word “See” is singular, while “you” is plural!
See! (singular), I give you (plural) today a blessing and a curse.
The famous rationalist commentator Abraham Ibn Ezra, deals with it as he does with a number of similar cases, by considering it the Torah’s way of addressing each Israelite personally:
“Each one of you, see the that I give you all a blessing and a curse…”
and this explanation certainly solves the difficulty.
Nonetheless other commentators felt the difficulty was enough to warrant a homiletic explanation. HaEmek Davar suggests the following, which is a particularly pertinent message for the month of Ellul, which begins next week:
Each one of us should remember that his actions affect not only himself/herself, but also the entire community. When we do good we bring blessing not only on ourselves, but on the community at large too. And the opposite.