He subjected you to the hardship of hunger and then gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had ever known, in order to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Eternal does man live. Deut. 8:3
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/eikev
‘Ëkev (עֵקֶב – Hebrew for “If” or “[And if You] Obey [These Rules]”) – Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25
And if you do obey these rules and observe them carefully, the Eternal your God will maintain faithfully for you the covenant made on oath with your fathers. – Deuteronomy 7:12
- Moses tells the Israelites that if they follow God’s laws, the nations who now dwell across the Jordan River will not harm them. (7:12–26)
- Moses reminds the people of the virtues of keeping God’s commandments. He also tells them that they will dispossess those who now live in the Land only because they are idolatrous, not because the Israelites are uncommonly virtuous. Thereupon, Moses reviews all of the trespasses of the Israelites against God. (8:1–10:11)
- Moses says that the Land of Israel will overflow with milk and honey if the people obey God’s commandments and teach them to their children. (10:12–11:25)
This is the second of seven haftarot of consolation leading up to the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which this year begins the evening of Friday, September 15, 2023. This haftarah corresponds to Parashat ‘Ëkev.
From ETZ HAYIM TORAH AND COMMENTARY
Copyright © 2001 by The Rabbinical Assembly
THE SEVEN HAFTAROT OF CONSOLATION p. 1032
The Seven Haftarot of Consolation follow the Three Haftarot of Admonition (puranuta) that were recited on the three Sabbaths before Tish-ah b’Av. As the synagogue calendar progresses, these 10 haftarah readings are followed by one chosen especially for the Shabbat that precedes Yom Kippur. Thus we have a cycle of special haftarot for this period, each unrelated to the parashah that is read on Shabbat.
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/eikev
By: Rabbi Talia Avnon-Benveniste
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
For Torah Study, instead of the portion from the Book of Deuteronomy that is read on this Shabbat, we will read Isaiah 49:14-51:3. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Deuteronomy.7.12-11.25, and the Haftarah at https://www.sefaria.org/Isaiah.49.14-51.3
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
עקב Eikev – Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Judith Hauptman, pp. 1108-9
who fed you in the wilderness with manna (8:16). Here God is portrayed in feminine terms as a provider of food. It is usually women who do the cooking and baking in the Bible, as illustrated by the “Woman of Valor,” who rises early to cook and back (Proverbs 31:15), and by Sarah, who prepares all manner of food for the visitors (Genesis 18:6–7). The Rabbis record the seven tasks expected of a wife, including grinding grain, baking bread, and cooking food (Mishnah K’tubot 5.5). Women were also expected to perform the accompanying religious rituals, such as separating a portion of dough for the priest (Numbers 15:20; Mishnah Shabbat 2:6).
As for that sinful thing you had made, the calf, I…ground it thoroughly (9:21). In this passage, Moses recounts how he put the Golden Calf to the fire, ground it thoroughly, and threw the dust into the brook. The version in Exodus 32:20 is a bit different, for it describes how Moses burned the calf, ground it into dust, sprinkled the dust on the water, and made the people drink. The latter’s similarity to the sotah ritual in Numbers 5 is obvious. Just as the wife accused of adultery must be tested by drinking a potion, so the Israelites had to drink the dust of the idol for which they abandoned God. This parallel creates the impression, further developed by the biblical prophets, that Israel’s relationship with God was like that of a wife and husband or a pair of lovers. In worshiping an idol, Israel betrayed an intimate partner; therefore, God’s punishment was swift and severe. It is ironic that the Rabbis deduce from the phrase “and all the people took off the gold rings that were in their ears” (Exodus 32:3) that the women refused to hand their rings over to their husbands for inclusion in the Calf. God rewarded the women with a holiday of their own, Rosh Chodesh, the New Moon, a day on which they were to abstain from household chores (Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer 45).
upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widow (10:18). In the rabbinic period, a principal purpose of the marriage contract (k’tubah) was to provide women with economic sustenance when widowed or divorced. Nevertheless, much like the Bible did, talmudic texts often portray widows as needing protection and financial support (see, for example, BT Gittin 35a).
If, then, you obey the commandments (11:13–21). This passage constitutes the second paragraph of the Sh’ma (Mishnah B’rachot 2:2) that is traditionally recited twice daily, together with 6:4–9 (Sh’ma) and Numbers 15:37–41 (on tzitzit). Mishnah B’rachot 3:3 exempts women from the daily obligation to recite the Sh’ma and from donning t’fillin (11:18), but it obligates them to hang a mezuzah on the doorposts of their home (11:20), pray daily, and recite the blessing after meals (Birkat HaMazon). Most of these exemptions and obligations are consistent with the general rules enunciated in Mishnah Kiddushin 1:7, that women are exempt from positive time-dependent ritual acts but obligated to all others. Recitation of the Sh’ma and donning t’fillin must be done at specified times of the day, whereas hanging a mezuzah may be done at any time. But women are obligated to prayer at fixed time because the Rabbis consider them better advocates before God than men are (BT B’rachot 20b).
loving your God יהוה and serving [God] with all your heart and soul (11:13). The Rabbis attach to these words one of their favorite ideas: that one must be engaged in study for its own sake (Torah lishmah). Should people say that they will learn in order to become rich, or to be called “Rabbi,” or to receive a reward in the world-to-come, this verse teaches that such motivations are not acceptable. Instead, one should spend time in the study of Torah for its own sake–out of the love both of learning and of engagement with God’s words (Sifrei D’varim, Eikev 41). Since women were not obligated to study sacred texts, any instance of women engaged in Torah study implies that it was for its own sake. A clear but chilling case of a woman studying Torah can be found in BT Yoma 66b: a woman came before Rabbi Eliezer and asked him a detailed question about the punishments meted out by God for worship of the Golden Calf; but he would not answer her. The reason for his reticence, according to another version of this tale (JT Sotah 3:3, 19a), was that “it is better to burn the words of Torah than turn them over to women.”
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, the 18 Av through the 24 of Av, we lovingly remember:
First Yahrzeit, Friend of Jane Kolber
Mother of Lisa Levine and Joe Levine
Roberta Gobstoob Morss
Mother of Susie Morss
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, August 4, 2023.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Haftarah ‘Eikev: Isaiah 49:14-51:3
Time: Aug 4, 2023 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Aug 4, 2023 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat – Gut Shabbos!
PS – About the Book of Isaiah:
From Jewish Encyclopedia
From My Jewish Learning
From Torah.org (includes Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel)
From Wikipedia (refers to Proto-Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah, Trito-Isaiah)
Timelines from Wikipedia