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Religion
Parashot

Aykev (because of)

Deuteronomy 7:12 to 11:25, Isaiah 49:14 to 51:3

Notes

According to verse 8:11, we should obey God's mitzvot to help remember him.

God gives us the ability to get wealth (verse 8:18).

Verse 8:3 has a principle for sermon outlines: first make a hunger noticed, then provide the answering nourishment.

Verse 8:16 returns to an earlier theme: mana was both a gift and a test. The test revealed to the people their spiritual condition (it did not show God anything).

Verse 10:12 is one of the "summarize Torah" verses.

Notice only the second set of tablets needs an ark (10:1). Why? If there was no ark would there have been cherubim? Where was God planning on resting his presence before the sin of the golden calf? See First Kings 6:23 for a possible clue: Solomon built two stand alone cherubim in the Temple.

Traditional Jewish Commentary

Aykev can mean "because of" or "heel". Verse 7:12 is traditionally interpreted as saying the mitzvot of the feet (attending worship or study, visiting the sick or mourning, escorting the dead) receive rewards in this life. Perhaps ignoring these mitzvot brings corresponding punishment: Psalm 49:6 says avon ekevai y'soovayni, which can mean either of the "iniquity of my persecutors/footsteps surround me".

Verse 7:12 tells us to listen [to], observe, and perform. The Ba'al ha'Turim assigns these verbs to Torah, Mishnah, and Gemara. It is conjectured that these three verbs correspond to the three blessings in te next verse (being loved, blessed, and increased); these also recall the patriarchs (Deuteronomy 10:15, Genesis 25:11 and 35:11).

The Gemara explains that verse 7:15 can be translated "And He will not [put the smallest amount] of all the bad sickness of Egypt on you, but He will [place a full measure] on all your enemies".

According to the Tz'enah Ur'enah, all of the blessings which God promised through Bilaam's prophecies will happen in This World, but the blessings promised through covenant with the patriarchs will only be fully realized in the messianic age.

The phrase "you will eat and be satisfied, and you will bless Adonai" in verse 8:10 is the source of the Jewish tradition to pray after a meal, and only do the brief, standard blessings before the meal.

In verse 9:17 the word vo'aslichem (and I cast them) is missing a yud (number 10). Tradition explains that the ten commandments left the tablets before Moshe cast them down, so that the word of God would not be broken. (Also, the phrase "of the covenant" is missing compared to verse 9:15.)

Yeshayah comments on the priority of fearing Adonai in verse 10:12: a king's treasury has rare items not available in the town's shops; similarly, since Adonai owns everything material, what is valuable and rare to Him is our fear and devotion. "The fear of Adonai that is His treasury" (33:6).

In verse 11:12 "from the beginning of the year to the end of the year" there is an alef missing from may-raysheet (from beginning) and a hey missing from the second ha-shanah (the year)

The Gro taught, based on verse 11:14, that the sun and moon moved in regular patterns to show that they were not actively managed by God, but rain happens irregularly to show that God actively manages it.

Verses 11:14-15 contain a balance of receiving from Adonai and needing to labor ourselves. Adonai would give rain and growth to the Israelites' crops, and they would have to gather the crops.