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Torah Portion Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25

Ekev, which is Hebrew for “Heel” and is the root of the name of our patriarch Jacob (Ya’akov in Hebrew).  However, within this Torah portion, Ekev means “because.” Here’s the context, Deu 7:12 – “And it will come to pass because you listened to these judgments…”

Summary:  Moses continues his second (of three) discourses that comprise the Book of Deuteronomy.  If the people do the laws and judgments, YHVH will keep the covenant that was made with the ancestors and bless the people with fertility (people, animals, and crops).  The people will never get sick and the diseases of Egypt will be visited upon the enemies.  Moses reminds them of the miracles that YHVH wrought to get them out of Egypt, so they should not be afraid of the enemies they will encounter in the Promised Land.  However, they are to destroy the Canaanite worship sites and idols, and not to take the silver and gold from the idols for their own use.  During the 40 years in the wilderness, there was food (manna) and their clothing did not wear out. Don’t forget YHVH and assume that wealth and prosperity came from their own hands.   If the people follow alien gods, they will perish.  Moses repeats that YHVH is a devouring fire and He will destroy the nations in the Promised land, even the giants who live there.  He reminds them not to make YHVH angry as they did along the journey, such as when Moses went up to Sinai to receive the laws, and they people had made a molten calf.  Even Aaron was punished.  At another time, YHVH said that He would destroy the people for various rebellions and Moses pled for their salvation.  Moses recounts after he had smashed the original tablets with the 10 Commandments how he had to cut a duplicate set, and create the Ark of the Covenant to contain them.    During their journeys, Aaron died and Eleazar, his son, succeeded him.  YHVH requires that the people revere Him, walk in all His ways, love Him, serve Him, and keep the Commandments.  Maintain the circumcision ritual.  Love the stranger, for we were strangers in Egypt.  Teach the commandments to the children.  The Promised Land is better and more fertile than Egypt.  If the people follow other gods, there will be no rain, thus no crops, and they will perish from the good land.  Everywhere they go in the Promised Land, the land will be theirs and everyone will be afraid of them.