Before starting to talk about this week’s parasha, I would like to say that:
I am thrilled to see so many people at our Shabbat table.
This Shul has been completely renovated and Be Ezrat Hashem, we will accomplish the final touches before R"Ha-Shana with regard to the building itself.
Some other big projects regarding the site are on course which will be disclosed very soon.
We hope to see you more often in our Shul!
Would also like to thank our Dear Friend Daniel for sponsoring this dinner in honour of his birthday!
We wish you long life,
and all the best in all you are undertaking
Many thanks for my Dear Wife and the help she received to prepare this nice menu,
Now about the parashat of this week:
Very very rarely, there is a portion in which rabbis have a sense that they really don’t need to say anything.
Not that I won’t,
but this is one of those portions that is so clearly defined,
and really preaches its own sermon
and teaches its own lesson!
“Eikev” as you know is in the name “Yaakov,”
it means “heel,”
and the portion starts by saying
on the heel of,
whatever you do,
such and such will happen.
Moses tells the Jewish people that after they enter the Land of Israel they must:
"Take care lest your forget the Lord, your G-d ... and you build good houses and ... you increase silver and gold ... and everything you have will increase ... and you will forget the Lord, your G-d, who took you out of ... Egypt from a house of slavery..." (Deuteronomy 8:11-14)
A LIFE LESSON!!!
Moses made a firm plea to all of the Jewish people never to forget that G-d is the true and only source of everything
including all of the monetary success they ever have.
Why was it necessary for Moses to drive this point with such intensity?
The reason is that human beings habitually feel that
• when things go well,
it was our doing and not G-d's.
• if things go poorly,
then it's G-d's fault and not ours.
We tend to take personal credit for things that go well in our lives and blame others if they go poorly.
Think about it.
When something isn't going right in our lives, we usually ask G-d to make things better.
Whether it's through a prayer
or a heartfelt request,
we really do instinctively recognize the true and only source of everything and will ask the One who can instantly make something change.
And although it might not be exactly what that you asked for or in your time table (because only G-d knows what's truly best for you), G-d usually answers our prayers.
The fact is, G-d delivers time and time again.
Moses knew this all too well.
But he also knew human nature just as well.
So, he pleaded with the Jewish people that when
"everything you have will increase,"
don't forget for one second who gave it to you.
Sadly, we forget this over and over again and
somehow, take personal credit for what we now have.
If you're going to "blame" G-d when things don't go your way
and ask Him to make things much better for you, simply saying
"Thank God" " B"H "
when things get better,
Because unless you live with the reality that it was G-d Who made things better,
then you will have missed an enormous opportunity to get closer to
the One who controls all.
It's amazing just how often we quickly forget that it was G-d who we had just been praying to.
Yes, He wants us to put in
the effort to show to Him, ourselves, and those around us that we really do want something.
And we have a Torah obligation to put forth this effort.
But in the end, it is G-d who delivers and not us
and He wants us to fight our natural desire to take credit for something that we were actually given.
Don't forget Who the only source of your blessings is.
Know that the same source of "nature" that surrounds you is the same source of everything else you have.
Only faith can save a society from decline and fall.
That was one of Moses’ greatest insights, and it has never ceased to be true.
If you can live with this reality, know that you'll literally be walking with G-d.
AMEN VECHEN YEHI RATZON