Ekev 2021 Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
The Good Land
The opening words of this parsha seem to hint to major themes of this parsha. For one, the name commonly given to this parsha from these opening words, Ekev, literally can mean heel. The heel is the part of the body that comes in contact with the earth. Interestingly many in Israel today travel around the Land of Israel this week… Indeed, this parsha is especially descriptive regarding the blessings and praises of our Holy Land, and in turn the rabbinic commentaries on this parsha, such as the Sifrei, explain the value of this Land at great length. Indeed, one of the mitzvot of this parsha we have discussed in the past is birkat hamazon, which requires one to give explicit praise for this special Divine gift, the Land of Israel.
The real translation of “ekev” in this parsha’s context is “due to,” meaning that “due to” listening to the commandments of Hashem, then Hashem will in turn keep His covenant He promised with our Forefathers of Hebron. This matter is also a major theme of this parsha, which, for example, contains the famous second passage of the Shema, which discusses the ramifications “due to” our keeping the covenant with Hashem and His commandments. This covenant promised with our Forefathers of Hebron can also be hinted in Hebron, Beacon of the Holy Land, itself, since Hebron means “unity” (hibur), and covenant is the matter that bonds and unites between two parties, in this case between Hashem and the People of Israel, offspring of these Patriarchs.
Also in regard to the aforementioned praise of the Holy Land, Hebron takes an important role. The Torah says that “Hebron was built seven years before Zoan of Egypt” (Bamidbar 13:22). Our Sages interpret the preexistence of Hebron before Zoan to refer to the superior qualities of Hebron over it, hinting to the superior level of the Holy Land in general. They further explain that the paradise-like Zoan of Egypt was of lesser quality than even the “rubble” (physically speaking of course) of the Land of Israel, Hebron, used as a graveyard at Maarat HaMachpela.
Real Miracles: Six-Day War
[The patrol of Otzbat Menachem was ambushed by tanks, field guns and level mortars],. In the jeeps, Zahlamim and Amexim (light tanks from World War II), the patrolmen jumped into the Egyptian enemy formation and intervened within it. One of the jeeps found itself five meters before the aimed cannon of “T-55.” The tank fired – and the shell passed between the wheels of the jeep. Missed, Yigal, with the heroism of despair, stood standing, before another “T-55″ which approached him. Yigal emptied an entire chain of his machine gun on the tank in front of him. Unbelievably, the tank before him stopped – Somehow… the bullets from his machine gun had penetrated the tiny holes used for sight inside the tank before him.”
Six Days of Glory “p. 174