Our Choice in the Shema

Our Choice in the Shema

Aug 12, 2006 By David-Seth Kirshner | Commentary | Eikev

This week’s Parashat Eikev is about hearing and listening.

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Adhering to God’s Word

Adhering to God’s Word

Jul 31, 2010 By Raymond Scheindlin | Commentary | Eikev

In Parashat Eikev, we hear the voice of Moses, that most eloquent of preachers, exhorting the Israelites as to how to behave in the Land that he is never to see. He reminds them of their past misconduct and warns that if it continues, they will not thrive in the Land. He devotes much of his attention to the Land itself.

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Taking Responsibility for the Land

Taking Responsibility for the Land

Aug 15, 2014 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Eikev

Parashat Eikev deals heavily with the theme of entering and securing the Land of Israel.

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Snacking and Satiation

Snacking and Satiation

Aug 7, 2015 By Shira D. Epstein | Commentary | Eikev

Moses relays to the People of Israel that when they eat and are “satisfied,” they should bless God for the land that was given to them (Deut. 8:10). This passage from Parashat Eikev, incorporated into the Birkat Hamazon (Grace after Meals), tethers the sensation of fullness and abundance to the act of offering gratitude for the source of our food. In this modern era of overly-processed packaged goods and “in-between snacking,” how many of us are actually tuned into the moment when we experience satiation, or take the time to consider the original source of what we ingest? We crunch on cookies in between errands, slurp sodas at our desks, and leave a trail of crumbs behind us as we hurry to catch a bus. 

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Gratitude for the Land

Gratitude for the Land

Jul 24, 2013 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Eikev

Parashat Eikev is centered on the Land of Israel.

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Challenging the God of Eikev

Challenging the God of Eikev

Aug 20, 2011 By Abigail Treu | Commentary | Eikev

Parashat Eikev, for me, is brutal. The crush of the Deuteronomic God, the if-then God of wrath and punishment, is overbearing. The choice that God offers in our parashah is not a choice: “And if you do obey these rules and observe them carefully, the Lord your God will maintain faithfully for you the covenant that He made on oath with your fathers: He will favor you and bless you . . . (Deut. 7:1213). On the other hand: “If you do forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve them or bow down to them, I warn you this day that you shall certainly perish . . . ” (Deut. 8:19). The God of Eikev infantilizes, expecting that we will respond to an if-then choice, which is not a choice at all but rather a display of raw power.

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Waters of Uncertainty

Waters of Uncertainty

Aug 15, 2014 By Alisa Braun | Commentary | Eikev

“If it doesn’t rain, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” commented a NASA water-cycle scientist recently on the drought that has been devastating California.

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Good Ecology Makes Good Theology

Good Ecology Makes Good Theology

Aug 11, 2012 By Stephen P. Garfinkel | Commentary | Eikev

Last week’s reading and this week’s—which together form most of Moses’s second major valedictory speech to the people—provide two aspects of one integral message.

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Consolation and Repair

Consolation and Repair

Jul 24, 2013 By Abigail Treu | Commentary | Eikev

Here we find ourselves two weeks into the seven weeks marked ever so gently by their haftarot, the shiv’ah d’nehemata (seven haftarot of comfort or consolation)—seven weeks in which the haftarot have nothing to do with the parashiyot, and everything to do with where we are in the calendar year: heading from Tish’ah Be’Av into the season of teshuvah, and ultimately into a new year.

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The Afterlife of Our Actions

The Afterlife of Our Actions

Aug 7, 2015 By Eliezer B. Diamond | Commentary | Eikev

Will Israel receive all the rain it needs this coming year? It depends on whether we are faithful to God’s word. At least that is the claim made in a biblical passage that we recite twice a day as part of the Shema:

If, then, you obey the commandments that I have enjoined upon you this day, loving the Lord your God and serving Him with all your heart and soul, I will grant the rain for your land in season, the early rain and the late. . .Take care not to be lured way and serve other gods and bow to them. For the Lord’s anger will flare up against you, and He will shut up the skies so that there will be no rain. . . (Deut. 11:13-14, 16-17, NJPS translation)

Many of us are uncomfortable reciting these verses.

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