Torah: Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14-51:3)
Deuteronomy is the final fifth book in the Torah, which Moses discourses to the Jewish people.
The Torah’s second discourse of Moses continued:
The rewards of obedience, the lessons of past history, and the warning of arrogance.
Reverence and awe for G-d…The Torah states that “you shall fear the Lord your G-d” (Deuteronomy 10:20). In Proverbs 1:7 we are told that “fear of G-d is the beginning of wisdom.” Reverence for G-d, an acknowledgement of G-d’s infinite power and righteousness, is one of the keys to human wisdom.
A few interesting concepts and values from this Torah parsha.
The Torah states “and you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your G-d” (Deuteronomy 8:10). The rabbis of the Talmud (Berachot) admonish us, “It is forbidden to enjoy the fruits of this world without pronouncing a blessing, and whoever derives such enjoyment without uttering a blessing has committed a trespass” (Berachot 35a). A sage pointed out that if we change the Hebrew letter chaf in u’veirachta (“and bless”) to a chet, we change the meaning to “you shall eat and be satisfied, and run away [without saying the blessing after the meal].” How often people fail to express any appreciation for the blessings of life, including the blessing of eating a satisfying meal.
Another concept from the parsha is a warning against arrogance. Deuteronomy 8:17 states the following: “And you say in your heart: ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.”” When blessed with prosperity, people often attribute their good fortune solely to their own efforts. Deuteronomy comes to remind us that all things ultimately come from G-d, and it is G-d who gives people the power to accumulate riches and win victories.
Today, we can see how laws are being passed and the rise of prices of food, gas, and many other supply items. One can see the many people in our society and communities that are suffering and are in need. The food pantries have seen an increase of families and individuals. How can we each help and follow the mitzvah of not only blessing food and enjoy eating the delicious food that G-d provides us? Each of us can make a donation or bring food items to our local pantries. When Yom Kippur arrives next month each of us can bring food items for a donation toward a food pantry.
May we pray this Sabbath to G-d for all that He gives us.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder