48 Ekev


וְהָיָה׀ עֵקֶב תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים הָאֵלֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם וְשָׁמַר יְהוה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ אֶת־הַבְּרִית וְאֶת־הַחֶסֶד אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ׃

“Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.





Brit Chadasha

August 20 2022


Deut. 7:12-11:25

Isaiah 49:14-51:3

Heb. 11:11-13

Jacob 5:7-11

Parashat Eikev deals heavily with the theme of entering and securing the Land of Israel. Multiple blessings are part and parcel of entry into the Promised Land. The people are promised a “good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains” Deut. 8:7 and one that is replete with seven species (wheat, barley, dates, pomegranates, figs, olives, and grapes; 8:8).  Moses reminds the people of the virtues of keeping God’s commandments. He also tells them that they will dispossess those who now live in the Land only because they are idolatrous, not because the Israelites are uncommonly virtuous.

Betrayal of the covenant is reflected in the people’s relationship to the Land: observe the commandments and receive rain at its proper time; pursue other gods and mimic the ways of the Canaanites and be faced with drought, sickness, and starvation. While the threat of punishment may propel one to observance, a deeper message is ingrained in this week’s parashah.Torah compels us to take responsibility for our behavior. We are not islands of being. We are deeply connected to each other and to the environment in which we live. To think otherwise is to delude ourselves and to destroy the rebirth of the Jewish people in its own Land. Being respectful of God and our fellow humans nurtures the world around us—enabling each of us, with God’s blessing, to bring forth the fruit of the earth and savor its sweetness.