Parashat Ekev

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Parashat Ekev is the third parsha in the Book of Divarim. It contains 111 pesukim. For the Haftorah the section of 'VaTomar Tzion' from Yeshayahu is read.


[edit] Moshe's Speech

Moshe continues how if the Jews will heed the laws given to them and will keep and perform them, especially the minor commandments which one usually tramples with his heels[1], delve deeply to get to the true Halachic rulings[2] and keep the teachings of the Torah, Mishna and Talmud.[2] Hashem will keep in the future[2] the covenant given to Avraham,[2] the promise He made[1] and the kindness that He swore to their forefathers.

He will love them in merit of his lover Avrahom,[3] bless them in merit of the blessed Yitzchak[3] and multiply them in merit of Yockov[3]. They will receive all the blessings that Yitzchak gave Yackov.[3] He will bless the fruit of their wombs, fruit of their soil, grain, wine, oil, the offspring of their cattle which the female casts out from her womb[4] and the choice[4] of their sheep flocks, [4] which enrich their owners,[4] in the land which He swore to their forefathers to give them. Moshe also alluded that the main reward comes at the end - the heel.[2] All this would be especially true if they were to keep the 172 (עק"ב) letters of the 10 commandments[2] and make their Torah study their steady priority[2] and to learn humility for the heel that goes at the end of foot and is therefore not stubbed like the toes.[2]

In merit of the Torah writen with the 22 letters[5] they will be blessed above all peoples. There will be no male that can not have children[6] or barren female among them in merit of the Torah teachings[5] or among their livestock. Hashem will remove from them all illness, the 98 curses[7] and all of the evil diseases of Egypt which they knew, He will not set upon them, but He will lay them upon all their enemies. The Jews shall consume all the peoples which Hashem gave them. They shall not spare them, nor shall they worship their gods, for that will be a snare for them.

[edit] Fearless Against the Canaanites

If they were to perhaps[8] wounder and say in their hearts; how will they drive out the Nations who are more numerous then them. They should not fear them. As they surely remember what Hashem did to Pharaoh and to all of Egypt, especially to their 600 featured chariots.[9] The great trials[10] that their eyes saw, the signs - such as the turning of the stick to a serpent[11] and water to blood,[12][10] the wondrous plagues,[10] the mighty hand of the Dever pestilence plague,[10] and the outstretched arm of the sword in the plague of the firstborn.[10] with which Hashem, brought them out. So will Hashem do to all the peoples they fear. During the era of the Mashiach these will all recur a second time.[13]

Hashem will also send the two[14] tzir'ah flying insects,[15] against the Canaanites, injecting poison into them,[15] making them impotent and blinding their eyes wherever they hid.[15] until the survivors of the 7 Nations[16] and those who hide from the Jews and Hashem[17] perish.

The Jews shall not be terrified of them, for Hashem, Who is in their midst, is a great and awesome G-D. Just like Avraham who battled the 4 kings and Yackov who battled Lavan and Esav,[18] Hashem will drive out those nations from before them, little by little. The Jews will not be able to destroy them quickly, lest the beasts of the field outnumber them. Although the Jews do not need to fear the beasts when they listen to Hashem, Moshe knew they would sin in the future.[19]

Hashem, will deliver them to the Jews. He will confound them with great confusion, just like He did to the chariots of Pharoh[20] in Yamsuf, until they are destroyed. He will deliver their kings into their hands. The Jews will destroy their name from beneath the heavens. No man will be able to stand up before them, until they have destroyed them. The graven images of their gods they will burn with fire. They shall not covet the silver or gold that is upon them and take it for themselves, lest they be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to Hashem. Nor should they bring an abomination into their house, lest they are to be destroyed like it. Instead they shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it; for it is to be destroyed. Someone who violates this Cherm, it is if he transgresses all the Mitzos,[21] and is avenged through all his 248 limbs,[22] he is to be burned just like Yehoshu did to Achun.[23] Yet if he repents he will be compassioned.[24]

[edit] Keeping the Mitzvos

Every commandment that Moshe commands them this day they shall keep to do, so that they may live and multiply and come and possess the land that Hashem swore to their forefathers. Moshe also alluded here that a person should strive to complete the entire[25] Mitzvah which one starts, for it is not attributed only to the one who completes it. This could be seen by the burial of Yosef in Shechem which was attributed to the Jews who completed the Mitzvah rather then Moshe who busied himself in bringing him there.[25] Also that they should remain on the path of their forefathers.[26]

They shall remember the entire way on which Hashem led them for forty years in the desert, in order to afflict and test them, to know what is in their hearts, whether they would keep His commandments or not, be testing Him and doubting His ways.[27]

Hashem afflicted them and let them go hungry, and then fed them manna, which they did not know, nor did their forefathers know, so that He would make them know that man does not live by bread alone, but rather by, whatever comes forth from the mouth of Hashem does man live. Eating the manna also imbued them with knowledge to fully receive the Torah.[28] During those forty years their clothing did not wear out, rather they were cleaned by the Clouds of Glory who would scrub them, so that they looked like freshly laundered clothes.[29] Additionally as their children grew, their clothes grew along with them, like a snail’s shell, which grows along with it.[29] It also alluding that the deceased will be clothed when they are brought back to life.[28] Nor did their feet swell like dough,[29] as usually happens with those who walk barefoot.[29]

They shall know in your heart, that just as a man chastises his son, so does Hashem chastise them and will take away their soul that was created in 40 days if they do not keep the Torah that was given in 40 days.[30] They shall keep the commandments of Hashem, to go in His ways by studying Torah,[31] and to fear Him. For Hashem is bringing them to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains and they should not ungrateful.[31] A land of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil producing olives[32] and honey. The ten words of this verse allude to the custom of placing ones ten fingers on the bread while reciting its blessing[33] and the 10 Mitzvos related to bread (1 - Plowing with Kilayim, 2 - Planting Kilayim, 3 - Leket, 4 - Shichicha, 5 - Peah, 6 - No muzzling, 7 - Teruma, 8 - Masser Rishon, 9 Masser Shani, 10 - Chalah)[33] A land in which they will eat bread without scarcity. This blessing is for the Land of Israel but applies to righteous in any location and to the wicked nowhere.[34] They will lack nothing in it. A land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains they will hew copper. They will eat a Cazayis[35] and be sated, and bless Hashem with Birchas Hamazon,[35] for the good land He has given them. Here it alludes to the need to place a reminder to the day of death in the Birchas Hamzon prayer and therefore the established the blessing of HaTov VhaMativ in remembrance of the slain of Beitar.[35]

[edit] Do Not Stray

Moshe continued telling the Jews to beware that you do not forget Hashsem, by not keeping His commandments, His ordinances, and His statutes, which he command them that day. Lest they eat and be sated, build good houses and find existing houses filled with all good[36] and dwell in them, their herds and flocks multiply, (as they are auspicious for wealth, as long as they are not pastured in private property, which leads to decline[37]) silver and gold increase and all they have increases. Causing their heart to grow haughty and they forget Hashem, Who has brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Who led them through that great and awesome desert, in which were snakes, vipers, scorpions and drought, (which also later manifested in the exiles of Bavel, Persia, Greeks, Romans[38]) where there was no water. Who brought water for them out of solid rock. Who fed them with manna in the desert, which their forefathers did not know, in order to afflict them and in order to test them, to benefit them in the end. They will say to themselves their strength and the might of their hand that has accumulated this wealth for them.

Instead they must remember Hashem, for it is He that gives them strength to make wealth, in order to establish His covenant which He swore to their forefathers, as it is this day. It will be, if they forget Hashem and follow other gods, and worship them, and prostrate themselves before them. Moshe says that he bears witness against them on that day, that they will surely perish. Just like the nations that Hashem destroys before them, so will they perish; since they will not obey Hashem and and sacrificed to idolatry and wanted to be like the Nations.[39]

[edit] The Conquest

Moshe told the Jews to hear; Today, they are crossing the Jordan to come inherit nations greater and stronger than the Jews despite their own might[40], great cities, fortified up to the heavens. A great and tall people, the children of the 'Anakim giants, whom they know and of whom they have heard said, who can stand against the children of the giants. They shall know this day, that it is Hashem Who passes over before them as a consuming fire He will destroy them, and He will subdue them before the Jews; and they shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as Hashem spoke to them.

They should not say in their hearts when Hashem has repelled the Nations from before them, that it was due to their righteousness, that Hashem has brought them to possess this land and because of the wickedness of these nations, Hashem drive them out from before them.

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Rashi Divarim 7:12
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Baal Haturim 7:12
  3. ^ a b c d Baal Haturim 7:13
  4. ^ a b c d Rashi Divarim 7:13
  5. ^ a b Baal Haturim 7:14
  6. ^ Rashi Divarim 7:14
  7. ^ Baal Haturim 7:15
  8. ^ Rashi Divarim 7:17
  9. ^ Baal Haturim Devarim 7:18
  10. ^ a b c d e Rashi Divarim 7:19
  11. ^ Shemos 4:3
  12. ^ Shemos 4:9
  13. ^ Baal Haturim Devarim 7:19
  14. ^ Baal Haturim 7:20
  15. ^ a b c Rashi Divarim 7:20
  16. ^ Baal Haturim Devarim 7:20
  17. ^ Baal Haturim Devarim 7:20
  18. ^ Baal Haturim 7:21
  19. ^ Rashi Divarim 7:22
  20. ^ Baal Haturim 7:23
  21. ^ Baal Haturim 7:26
  22. ^ Baal Haturim Devarim 7:26
  23. ^ Baal Haturim 7:25
  24. ^ Baal Haturim Devarim 7:26
  25. ^ a b Rashi Divarim 8:1
  26. ^ Baal Haturim Divarim 8:1
  27. ^ Rashi Divarim 8:2
  28. ^ a b Baal Haturim Divarim 8:3
  29. ^ a b c d Rashi Divarim 8:4
  30. ^ Baal Haturim Divarim 8:5
  31. ^ a b Baal Haturim Divarim 8:6
  32. ^ Rashi Divarim 8:8
  33. ^ a b Baal Haturim Divarim 8:8
  34. ^ Baal Haturim Divarim 8:9
  35. ^ a b c Baal Haturim Divarim 8:10
  36. ^ Baal Haturim Divarim 8:12
  37. ^ Baal Haturim Divarim 8:13
  38. ^ Baal Haturim Divarim 8:15
  39. ^ Baal Haturim Divarim 8:20
  40. ^ Rashi Divarim 9:1

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