This week’s parsha is Ekev, עֵקֶב, translated as “if you leave”, covering Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25. In Ekev, Moses explains to the Israelites what they can expect if they obey G-d’s rules (good health, fertile soil) as well as the reverse (sickness and plagues). He noted that during the 40 years of wandering in the desert, manna was provided, their fabric and clothes remained sturdy and wearable, and most notable, during 40 years of wandering over hot sand and scrub there were no reports of swollen or sore feet. Moses reminded the people not to get haughty and refreshed their memory about how they angered Him in the Wilderness. Ekev also retells that tale of the Golden Calf, Moses receiving the tablets, and covers the death and burial of Aaron.
Ekev contains biblical agricultural instructions, too. It is in this parsha that we receive a bit more detail on the Seven Species and what constitues an excellent sample of the First Fruits (no dates grown on hills, fruits from the valley, or blemished olives could be used as an offering) and are told that we must feed our animals first before we eat (later in the Mishnah it is explained that you may not purchase an animal before you purchase food for the animal to eat).
Aaccording to the Sefer ha-Chinuch, there are 6 positive and 2 negative commandments in Ekev.
Candle lighting times (in Clinton, courtesy of Hebcal): Friday, July 26 at 8:35 pm with Havdalah on Saturday, July 27 at 10:04 pm
Translation, via JTS:http://www.jtsa.edu/prebuilt/ParashahArchives/jpstext/ekev.shtml
Sources of commentary:
Rabbi Ted Falcon:http://www.rabbitedfalcon.com/weekly-focus/
Animated at G-dcast: http://www.g-dcast.com/ekev
Funding for Whidbey Island Jewish Community was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Special Initiatives Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.