by Alan Herman - August 7, 2015
In Eikev, Moses continues his encouragement and instructions to the Israelites as they journey towards the Promised Land.
The Israelites are promised that they will be blessed in many ways if they obey the commandments they have been given.
They are instructed not to fear battle with their enemies. Moses reminds them of what was done to the Pharaoh and to Egypt.
They are told to remember the many tests and miracles presented to them during their forty years in the desert. Moses describes the beauty
and prominent attributes of the Land of Israel, "a good land, a land with streams and springs, and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat
and barley, of vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey."
Moses warns the Israelites that during their times of prosperity and good fortune they must remember God's role. It is God who guided them out of Egypt. They are reminded to keep the commandments.
Moses instructs the Israelites to fear, love and serve God. God is supreme and is great, mighty and awesome. Deuteronomy 10:18 "but upholds the cause
of the fatherless and the widow, and befriends the stranger providing him with food and clothing". In Deuteronomy 10:19 the reason for this is given: "You
too must befriend the stranger as you were strangers in the Land of Egypt".
Moses then reminds the Israelites of the marvelous deeds which have happen since they left Egypt. The Israelites are told by Moses that the Lord our God will
watch over the Land of Israel. This will continue as long as the Israelites are observant of God's commandments.
In Eikev, the Israelites were continually being instructed to be observant of God's commandments. They were told that they would prosper as long as they followed
these instructions. At the same time, we are always to remember the stranger. This emphasizes the extreme importance placed on social awareness.
Could this be a reminder that we should always speak up for those who may not have a voice in our society?