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A somewhat short musing this week, but one that, I think, says what needs to be said.
Biblical Scholars enjoy examining the Torah, and, in particular, D'varim (Deuteronomy) with an eye for reinforcing the popularly held belief that this fifth book of the Torah is a separate and later creation than the previous four books. They revel in finding the evidence, and finding much of the text to be etiological, conflicting, and anachronistic.
One well worn literary clue is provided in our parasha, Ekev. The last two words of 8:18. Kayom hazeh. As it is (until or still or like) this day. The entire pasuk reads:
Remember that it is the Lrd your Gd who gives you the power to get wealth, in fulfillment of the covenant He made on oath with you fathers, as is still the case. (JPS)
Yet sometimes, it's fun to take off the scholar's hat and put on the spiritual one or the mystic one. Instead of thinking of this as a statement made by a possible author in Josianic times (for that is the more popular theory) just read it in its plain, timeless sense.
Kayom hazeh. As is still the case....today, now, in our own time... and in the time of every other person who has read or will read (or hear) these words.
As is still the case today--that Gd reminds us not to become haughty in our satiety and prosperity. We live in times that, although they still hold peril, are among the best of times that Jews have known throughout our long history. We would do well to remember that all that the Torah says and teaches is meant as much for us today as it is for our ancestors and our descendants.
In this parasha alone there are so many things we must be reminded to regard in our lives--things that are still the case today. To thank Gd for the good land Gd has given us that has allowed us to eat our fill. (8:10) That it is not for our virtues that Gd has allowed us to triumph (8:4-5, 9:6.) That we do not live on bread alone, but on that which Gd decrees (8:3.) That we should not forget that it is not through our own power and might that we have become wealthy and sated, but rather that this power comes from Gd (8:17-18.) That Gd demands from us "only this-to revere the Lrd your Gd, to walk only in His paths, to love Him, and to serve the Lrd your Gd with all your heart and soul (10:12.) That we must befriend the stranger (10:19.)
©2004 by Adrian A. Durlester
Some previous musings on this parasha
Ekev 5769-5763-Not Holier Than Thou
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