Parashat Ekev

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Parashat Ekev is the third parsha in the Book of Divarim


The Blessings

Moshe continues how if the Jews will heed the laws given to them and will keep and perform them, especially the minor commandments which one usually tramples with his heels[1], delve deeply to get to the true Halachic rulings[2] and keep the teachings of the Torah, Mishna and Talmud.[2] Hashem will keep in the future[2] the covenant given to Avraham,[2] the promise He made[1] and the kindness that He swore to their forefathers. He will love, bless and multiply them. He will bless the fruit of their wombs, fruit of their soil, grain, wine, oil, the offspring of their cattle which the female casts out from her womb[3] and the choice[3] of their sheep flocks, [3] which enrich their owners,[3] in the land which He swore to their forefathers to give them. Moshe also alluded that the main reward comes at the end - the heel.[2] All this would be especially true if they were to keep the 172 (עק"ב) letters of the 10 commandments[2] and make their Torah study their steady priority[2] and to learn humility for the heel that goes at the end of foot and is therefore not stubbed like the toes.[2]

They will be blessed above all peoples. There will be no male that can not have children[4] or barren female among them or among their livestock. Hashem will remove from them all illness, and all of the evil diseases of Egypt which they knew, He will not set upon them, but He will lay them upon all their enemies. The Jews shall consume all the peoples which Hashem gave them. They shall not spare them, nor shall they worship their gods, for that will be a snare for them.

Fearless Against the Canaanites

If they were to perhaps[5] wounder and say in their hearts; how will they drive out the Nations who are more numerous then them. They should not fear them. As they surely remember what Hashem did to Pharaoh and to all of Egypt. The great trials[6] that their eyes saw, the signs - such as the turning of the stick to a serpent[7] and water to blood,[8][6] the wondrous plagues,[6] the mighty hand of the Dever pestilence plague,[6] and the outstretched arm of the sword in the plague of the firstborn.[6] with which Hashem, brought them out. So will Hashem do to all the peoples they fear.

Hashem will also send the tzir'ah flying insects,[9] against the Canaanites, injecting poison into them,[9] making them impotent and blinding their eyes wherever they hid.[9] until the survivors and those who hide from the Jews perish.

The Jews shall not be terrified of them, for Hashem, Who is in their midst, is a great and awesome G-D. Hashem will drive out those nations from before them, little by little. The Jews will not be able to destroy them quickly, lest the beasts of the field outnumber them. Although the Jews do not need to fear the beasts when they listen to Hashem, Moshe knew they would sin in the future.[10]

Hashem, will deliver them to the Jews. He will confound them with great confusion, until they are destroyed. He will deliver their kings into their hands. The Jews will destroy their name from beneath the heavens. No man will be able to stand up before them, until they have destroyed them. The graven images of their gods they will burn with fire. They shall not covet the silver or gold that is upon them and take it for themselves, lest they be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to Hashem. Nor should they bring an abomination into their house, lest they are to be destroyed like it. Instead they shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it; for it is to be destroyed.

Keeping the Mitzvos

Every commandment that Moshe commands them this day they shall keep to do, so that they may live and multiply and come and possess the land that Hashem swore to their forefathers. Moshe also alluded here that a person should strive to complete the entire[11] Mitzvah which one starts, for it is not attributed only to the one who completes it. This could be seen by the burial of Yosef in Shechem which was attributed to the Jews who completed the Mitzvah rather then Moshe who busied himself in bringing him there.[11]

They shall remember the entire way on which Hashem led them for forty years in the desert, in order to afflict and test them, to know what is in their hearts, whether they would keep His commandments or not, be testing Him and doubting His ways.[12] Hashem afflicted them and let them go hungry, and then fed them manna, which they did not know, nor did their forefathers know, so that He would make them know that man does not live by bread alone, but rather by, whatever comes forth from the mouth of Hashem does man live. During those forty years their clothing did not wear out, rather they were cleaned by the Clouds of Glory who would scrub them, so that they looked like freshly laundered clothes.[13] Additionally as their children grew, their clothes grew along with them, like a snail’s shell, which grows along with it.[13] Nor did their feet swell like dough,[13] as usually happens with those who walk barefoot.[13]

They shall know in your heart, that just as a man chastises his son, so does Hashem chastise them. They shall keep the commandments of Hashem, to go in His ways, and to fear Him. For Hashem is bringing them to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains. A land of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil producing olives[14] and honey. A land in which they will eat bread without scarcity. They will lack nothing in it. A land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains they will hew copper. They will eat and be sated, and bless Hashem, for the good land He has given them.


  1. ^ a b Rashi Divarim 7:12
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Baal Haturim 7:12
  3. ^ a b c d Rashi Divarim 7:13
  4. ^ Rashi Divarim 7:14
  5. ^ Rashi Divarim 7:17
  6. ^ a b c d e Rashi Divarim 7:19
  7. ^ Shemos 4:3
  8. ^ Shemos 4:9
  9. ^ a b c Rashi Divarim 7:20
  10. ^ Rashi Divarim 7:22
  11. ^ a b Rashi Divarim 8:1
  12. ^ Rashi Divarim 8:2
  13. ^ a b c d Rashi Divarim 8:4
  14. ^ Rashi Divarim 8:8

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