Why do we read the tochacha at such a rapid pace and so quietly? Wouldn’t it be more effective if we read it slowly and with more emphasis?
The truth is that today it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to read it that way. But in the ancient times when people were more aware of the lessons of the tochacha, it created a very great anxiety and depression. When people were more aware of the Torah and the lessons intended thereby, it was sufficient to read it quietly and everyone was impressed by the lesson anyhow because they understood what the Torah intended. But today, when it’s read merely as a formality it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the tochacha was read aloud and slowly.
Now I’m not going to change any customs but the benefit of the tochacha today is lost. The purpose really is to let us know that nothing happens without a reason. And when misfortune happens it is because the Jewish people are forsaking the Torah and Hakodosh Boruch Hu doesn’t keep quiet. But if you don’t listen to the tochacha, then you’ll never know that lesson.
TAPE # 256 (November 1978)