Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Parashat Eikev - 5773

My friends,

I had a wonderful trip and enjoyed being in Eretz Yisrael, visiting with many members of the family. It is also wonderful to be back. I look forward to seeing you at Shul or on other occasions.

This Shabbat, the second in the seven weeks of consolation that precede Rosh Hashanah, we read the portion of Eikev. The opening verses describe the covenant between G-d and the Children of Israel. If the children of Israel keep the commandments, then G-d will keep the promise made to our patriarchs. If they love G-d with all their heart and soul, then G-d will love and bless them and provide them with all their needs.

Moses tells those who are about to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land what a beautiful country G-d is giving them. A land of milk and honey, etc., and that G-d watches over this land "...from the beginning of the year to the end of the year." It is a Land "where you will lack nothing".

This last verse is so true. Every store in Israel is filled with an abundance of products. Roads and residential streets are filled with cars, and stores have everything one needs. Shopping on Thursday evening is a very unique experience. The supermarkets are crowded with shoppers buying for Shabbat. There is a bounty of various fruits, vegetables, ready-made salads and all types of cooked meals for Shabbat. Here in the states, we are used to Hummus and Tahini, and some eggplant Israeli salads. In one store in Israel, I counted eighty different Israeli salads!! There are also dozens of types of olives and dried fruits and nuts. And there are new high rises and unusual looking skyscrapers wherever you go. Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, from a materialistic point of view, "one lacks nothing".

What is needed now is Shalom - peace - both with our neighbors and among the various group within Israel.

You want to hear good things about Israel? Read his week's Parasha.

Shabbat Shalom,