This week’s Torah portion covers Deuteronomy 26:1 to 29:8. We are entering the blessings and curses portion of Deuteronomy.
The ceremony of blessings and curses is a liturgical act. God wants the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali to gather on Mount Ebal. The tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin should gather at Mount Gerizim. No explanation is given for the specific makeup of the groups. The ceremony involved the Israelites on Mount Ebal to recite specific curses. Those on Mount Gerizim were to pronounce blessings.
God promises that if they do not turn aside from His commands, He will open up the heavens and give them bounty. God will open up their wombs, their harvests, their baskets.
On the opposite note, however, if they turn away from Him, God will close their wombs and curse their fields and livestock.