Parashat Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12 to 11:25

Again we read an extraordinary portion, which encompasses many ideas: that a person does not live by “bread alone,” that the outstretched “arm” of the divine is a symbol of both strength and gentleness, and that we should follow the mitzvot because of all the positive attitudes which result from such observance. Ultimately our adherence to the divine words enables us to live a long and fruitful life.

The sedrah Ekev, is often translated as “because.” From the opening verse we read, “it shall come to pass because you will hearken to these commandments…” But the word “ekev” comes from a noun meaning “heel, or foot.” It’s the same root as the name of Jacob, “Ya’akov,” which also means heel. So I would translate this term “ekev” in our sentence in this manner: “as a consequence of…”  If you want to live a good life, remember the mitzvot!

February-March-April 2024 Newsletter

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