Devarim / Deut. 7:12 – 11:25
Haftarah: Yeshayáhu / Isaías / Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3
Brit Hadashah: Matittiyahu / Mt. 16:13-20
Ékev means, among many other things: “consequence“.
Continuing his farewell address, Moses warns the people that if they fulfill the Mitzvot (precepts) of HaShem, they will have a good life in the promised land.
But as he knows his people, he reminds them of the episodes when the people’s lack of faith caused pain and tragedy.
How it was when they built and worshiped a golden calf.
When they did not believe they could conquer Canaan and were punished with 40 years in the desert for a generational change.
Moses tells them that Canaan is a good, fertile land that bears good fruit.
But he warns them that when they are settled and satisfied in the promised land, they should not be arrogant in saying that they got it alone but acknowledge and thank HaShem for their intervention.
The second part of the Shem is mentioned in which it is indicated to love HaShem with all the heart.
Put reminders of the Mitzvot on the arm (Tefillin) and at the entrances of the houses (Mezuza).
It is also indicated to bless after meals “You will eat and be satisfied and bless Adonai your Elohim” (8:10).
He made it clear earlier that “Man does not live by bread alone” (8:3)
Thus begins our parashat: Reward for Obedience.
Devarim / Deut. 7:12
וְהָיָה עֵקֶב תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים הָאֵלֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם וְשָׁמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ אֶֽת־הַבְּרִית וְאֶת־הַחֶסֶד אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ׃
Vehayah ekev tishme’un et hamishpatim ha’eleh ushmartem va’asitem otam veshamar Adonay Eloheyja leja et-habrit ve’et-hajesed asher nishba la’avoteyja.
“And it will come to pass that as a consequence of your hearing these judgments, keeping them and fulfilling them, Adonai your Elohim will keep for you the pact and the mercy that he swore to your fathers.”
Ékev, About the denomination of the present section of the Torah, the name Ékev, translated in this context “as a consequence”, literally means “heel”.
Alluding that when it comes to the observance of the rules of life, described in the Torah, which are what give meaning to your existence, you must fully involve yourself, not only at the level of your rational and emotional faculties but even at the physical level, even at the level of the heel of the foot, the most elemental member of your physical existence.
Throughout the Sefer Devarim / book Deut. It is not HaShem who speaks, but Moshe.
Moshe transmits his teachings to the people, which is why the pronoun “I” appears in lowercase.
They can only imagine a father who goes on a trip and reminds his children of all his teachings.
Devarim / Deut. 8:15
“…which led you through the great and fearsome desert, desert of poisonous snakes and scorpions, of drought, where there is no water. It is not going to be that you forget HaShem, Who extracted water for you from the hard stone.”
“Great and fearsome desert”. The desert, with the harsh adjectives that describe it, represents the severe exile in which we find ourselves, from which HaShem will soon free us with the definitive redemption through Mashiach.
Bo Yeshua! / Come Yeshua!
Devarim / Deut. 8:17
“Do not try to convince yourself, saying: “My power and my own strength are what gave me all this wealth.”
Did you know that the virtue of Humility is not listed among the 613 commandments of the Torah?
Well, if that were the case, many would take pains to observe them punctiliously, and as a result, they would come to feel proud of the excellent level of humility that they could achieve.
In ch. 9, Moshe talks about the giving of the Ten Commandments.
According to the sages of Israel it is said that, The Ten Commandments, which contains the entire Torah, were delivered on Shavuot / Pentecost, the 6th or 7th of the 3rd month or Sivan, approx. 1312 BCE
After the Revelation, Moshe stayed on the mountain for 40 days and came down with the first Tablets on the 17th of the 4th month or Tammuz.
Seeing the golden calf, Moshe broke those first Tablets.
Moshe ascended the mountain again in search of divine forgiveness, and after 40 days, HaShem forgave the people.
That was the 1st of the 6th month or Elul.
Moshe then remained 40 more days on the mountain and came down with the second Tablets on the 10th of the 7th month or Tishri, on Yom Kippur or the Day of Forgiveness, in which HaShem definitively forgave Israel the transgression with the golden calf.
3,000 years later, out of the Father’s love for the human being He had created, He sends His only begotten Son to die for the sin of all mankind.
Yeshua HaMashiaj ve’ Melej Yisrael!
Yeshua the Messiah, the King of Yisrael!
So, Moshe asks a key question to the people of Israel and TODAY he does not ask us.
12 “And now Israel, what does HaShem, your Elohim, want from you? Only that you fear HaShem, your Elohim, that you follow all His ways, that you love Him, that you serve HaShem, your Elohim, with all your heart, and with all your soul, 13 and that you fulfill the precepts of HaShem and Susa rituals, which I order you TODAY, for your benefit.”
“Take care, in the time of plenty, lest your heart be tempted and go astray, and you worship other gods and bow down to them.”
It says “Take care of yourselves in the time of plenty…”
People who have good economic resources, if they do not have a solid spiritual support, it is easier to succumb to the temptation of the material. That is why the verse warns about it.
This verse also says, “… lest their hearts turn astray, and they worship another’s gods.”
It literally expresses the verse: “… lest they turn around and serve strange gods.”
What does this mean?
When one turns around and loses sight of their connection to HaShem, they are spontaneously serving “strange gods.”
Spiders are horrible.
But I want to bring this illustration here in this parashat.
The spiders go down a thread woven by it, arrive at a place, stop, and begin to glue the other threads of their web from the center to the ends.
When they finish, they start weaving everything from the center.
What happens if the wind and rain break the threads of the spider web?
But what happens if the thread where the spider descends breaks?
The spider instinctively leaves the web.
Did you know that, in the light of today, science does not explain why.
But if the thread by which the spider descends breaks, the web has lost its consistency.
That’s why you can find beautiful cobwebs and there are no spiders in them and cobwebs all broken and there is the spider.
We, men and women, act in the same way.
We come down to this world by a little thread that is our dependence on Adonai.
All the threads of your life can be broken.
But if you are holding the hand of Adonai, everything in your life can be remade.
But, if you are not holding the hand of Adonai, your life has lost its reason for being.
Shabbat Shalom Mishpochah!