Thursday, July 25, 2013

Miracles in Our Days: Parshat Ekev

Do miracles happen in our day?  do things written about in the Torah "come true" as if they were predictions made by Nostradamus?  For the most part I would say such a view largely misunderstands how we are meant to read what the Torah is telling us.  But when it comes to this week's portion, I am a little more inclined to answer with, "yes, yes they do."
This week's portion, Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25, contains (7:12-8:18) the reading some recite on Yom Ha-Atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day. Whether or not you agree we should assign a Torah reading to a modern holiday, reading the opening of this week's portion with the birth of Israel in mind is truly moving.  The language of finally arriving after enduring so much that we find at the start of chapter eight captures exactly the feeling, at least it does for me, that comes from contemplating the miracle it is that our people should once again be sovereign in our own land.  
And equally resonant for today are the parshah's warnings regarding properly respecting and honoring the miracle that is Israel.  The election of a new chief rabbi and all the issues for religious tolerance that it conjures, a new round of peace talks in an Israel with new political movements in the mix, regional turmoil, relations with the youth of the Diaspora, these are just the problems that first occurred to me that we Jews face when I comes to Israel today.  
We must all work hard, recognizing that while "man doth not live by bread only" (8:3) God doesn't bake either - we must constantly struggle for the greatest miracle of our days.  
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Benson

No comments:

Post a Comment