Parashat Eikev 5782

August 18, 2022

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah Of Bread and Potential A D’var Toraj for Parashat Eikev By Rabbi Katy Allen (’05) The grass dries out in the heat– it’s brown now. Flowering plants, and even shrubs, are wilting, their leaves dull and stiff, the bright blue of the sky day after day broken only by occasional fair-weather clouds, as the temperatures soar and relief doesn’t come. Here in my yard, the visible life and death question is focused on plants, and perhaps some pollinators or creepy crawlers in the soil (though the bunnies and woodchucks no longer graze outside my window, and I’m wondering where and what they are munching instead). Elsewhere, however, earthlings are dying. Humans cannot live by bread alone, (Deuteronomy 8:3) our Torah text tells us, and some rabbis say this means we actually can live on less– although I find it impossible to imagine...

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Parashat Eikev 5781

July 29, 2021

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah The Ties That Bind A D’var Torah for Parashat Eikev By Rabbi Enid Lader (’10) In his book Be, Become, Bless: Jewish Spirituality between East and West (Maggid, 2019), Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen points out that the internet age is characterized by the unprecedented access to limitless information. However, all this information alone is not sufficient to generate change in our lives; true change comes about through deeply internalizing the knowledge. This requires a shift in consciousness; helping us to do and to be. (p. 286) Eikev, our Torah portion this week, contains the fourth of as many passages from the Torah that mentions tefillin. These passages, written on parchment and placed in the boxes of the tefillin serve as a reminder of four basic principles in Judaism: 1.     Exodus 13:1-10 – Our obligation to remember the Exodus from Egypt 2.     Exodus 13:11-16 – Our obligation...

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Parashat Eikev 5780

August 6, 2020

A D’var Torah for Parashat Eikev By Cantor Sandy Horowitz (’14) In an episode of the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schultz, Linus tells his sister Lucy that he wants to be a doctor. She replies in her big-sister way, “You could never be a doctor, you know why? Because you don’t love mankind, that’s why!” To which Linus replies: This seems to illustrate Moses’ feeling towards the Israelites in Parashat Eikev. One can’t argue with his commitment to the Israelites as a people (“mankind”), while at the same time we experience his deep frustration with their behavior. As they prepare to enter the Promised Land, Moses’ words include a series of rebukes as he tells them, “You have been rebelling against the Lord since the day I have known you” (Deut. 9:24). He recounts their transgressions in detail – how they built a golden calf idol, and how the scouts...

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Parashat Eikev 5779

August 23, 2019

A D’var Torah for Parashat Eikev By Rabbi Isaac Mann In the beginning of this week’s Torah reading we have two references to the manna (man in Hebrew) that sustained the Israelites in the desert for forty years as a test (nisayon) by God. In this essay I wish to explore what was the nature of this test and how it relates to us in practical terms. In his long exhortation to B’nei Yisrael, Moses reminds them that God had them travel in the wilderness for the past forty years that “He might test you by hardships to learn what was in your hearts: whether you would keep His commandments or not. He subjected you to the hardship of hunger and then gave you manna to eat … in order to teach you that man does not live by bread alone, but that man may live on anything that the...

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Eikev 5778

August 3, 2018

A D’Var Torah for Parashat Eikev By Cantor Sandy Horowitz (’14) “Dear when you smiled at me, I heard a melody It haunted me from the start Something inside of me started a symphony Zing! Went the strings of my heart” These lyrics come from a song made famous by Judy Garland in 1938 and recorded by others many times since. “Zing went the strings of my heart…” What does this mean, exactly?  According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the term “heartstrings” refers to one’s “deepest emotions or affections”. According to our singer, “Zing!” is the sound of heartstrings tugged by love. Imagine our awareness of Divine Love being so strong, so immediate that it would make our heart go “Zing!”  Perhaps that is what God is asking of the Israelites in Parashat Eikev this week when they are commanded, “U’maltem et orlat l’vavkhem v’arp’khem lo takshu od”, “You shall circumcise the...

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