In Parshat לך לך, the following is said in Perek ‘יב, Passuk ‘ג:
"ואברכה מברכיך ומקללך אאר."
“And I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you, I will curse.”
In the English translation, the unbalanced clauses are puzzling. Shouldn’t the passuk have said, “And I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”?
The key to understanding the ambiguity of this passuk is the order of Hashem’s words. The clause, “And I will bless those who bless you”, conveys that Hashem’s act of blessing us precedes our blessing of others. It also demonstrates that Hashem gives credit to those intending to perform a Mitzvah, even if circumstances prevent it. On the other hand, “...and those who curse you, I will curse” suggests that Hashem’s act follows the people’s, revealing that Hashem will curse those who curse us only after they have verbally cursed us–not for merely intending to.
We see in the Gemara of Kiddushin that for an aveirah, one would only be punished if the plan is carried out. On the contrary, the intention alone of doing a mitzvah is enough in Hashem’s eyes.
By: Tova Bossewitch and Eliana Wolfson