- Posted by tisrael
- On August 3, 2018
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat.
Blessings do not only happen to good, moral people. And curses can befall anyone, the wicked and the moral alike. So, what is our portion trying to teach us when it lays out the positive consequences of loving and serving God with all of our hearts and souls with the promise of rain in its season and nature’s bounty as a result? Why does it threaten with retribution of drought and barren fields for being lured away to other gods? (Deut. 11: 13-17) The contrast is stark.
Nature can be a brutal teacher, particularly for those who depend on the earth for sustenance. Some of us may have moved farther and further from the fields, but we all rely on its healthy existence to sustain us. The ancients used the metaphor of nature because it touched the very core of life. Without its cooperation, there could be no growth.
The name of this week’s portion is Eikev, it can mean “if” or in consequence of. Perhaps, it could be understood as an inflection point, an opportunity to make a decision that has profound impact and meaning.
The Israelites stood on the precipice looking toward the land of great promise. They had almost arrived, but not quite yet. They would each need to reach a decision about their behavior and regard for the covenant. Their very life could depend on it, or so they thought.
They could not have known what we clearly comprehend that the care of our land, oceans, and seas play a key role in the well being of all of us. Pollution, disregard for the preservation of the earth, piles of waste moving about the ocean, and chemicals allowed to fill the air are a consequence of ignoring those opportunities to love and serve God with our hearts and souls through our care of the created world gifted to us.
The idea of Eikev, if, holds great potential. It actually rests in our hands and in our control to protect and to preserve, so that generations after us receive a world full of nature’s bounty. Shabbat brings us back to the creation of the world each week. What a delightful way to remember the power of “if”.
We are INSIDE to enjoy Qabbalat Shabbat together at 6:00 p.m. Live stream HERE. Torah study begins at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow with a short service followed by a lively discussion. Thanks Goodness It’s Shabbat for the little ones gathers at 10:00 a.m. in the chapel.
I welcome your comments and thoughts HERE.