Parshas Aikev 2011
Hashem taught the B’nai Yisroel that if they keep the Mitzvos properly, He would remove common illness from amongst the nation, deliver their enemies into their hands, and punish their enemies with uncommon illnesses (like He afflicted Egypt). Hashem told them that when He would conquer their enemies for them, allowing the B’nai Yisroel to dwell in Eretz Yisroel, He would conquer them in a slower manner. This was because if Hashem went ahead and conquered their enemies quickly, by the time the B’nai Yisroel settled down there would be wild animals inhabiting the land creating a new, unpleasant dilemma for them. So Hashem (as an expression of loving kindness) would conquer the enemy in a delayed or unhurried manner so as they took over each area no other problems would develop.
Hashem also told them that they would be forbidden to covet their enemy’s silver and gold. Rabbi Ovadiah Ben Yaakov (a.k.a. the Sforno) explains, if the B’nai Yisroel would take the riches from their idol worshiping enemies and derived monetary benefit from it they would mostly likely assume that Hashem wasn’t the one who brought this good fortune to them, they would think it was the idols that did that. As this passuk says, “you shall not covet the silver or gold…lest you be ensnared by it…” This would lead many of the B’nai Yisroel to do one of the three cardinal sins that one is required to give up his life for. (The other two cardinal sins are murdering and having forbidden relationships with other wives).
The Sefer HaChinuch points out that one of the mitzvahs we receive in parshas Eikev is to associate with Torah Scholars and adhere to them. May we all cling to this commandment so that we enrich our lives with the words of Torah Scholars and so we can all bring the light of Hashem’s Torah to the world.- Amen!
HAVE A GREAT SHABBOS AND WEEKEND!
Stay tuned for next week’s Parsha called, Parshas Re’ah!