This Week’s Torah Portion: Rewards and Rainfall

August 3, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This Week’s Torah Portion: Rewards and Rainfall

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This week we read from the portion in the Torah, Ekev.  This portion contains the second part of the Shema that we say silently.  This piece of text  (Deut. 11:13-11:20) includes God’s promise to the people that if we love God and follow God’s commands God will provide rain in the appropriate season and cause the crops to grow.  If we do not follow God’s commands, we will not receive rain, the crops will not grow and we will not have food.

In our world today, we often do not find a connection between morality and rainfall or morality and rewards.  Too often we see admirable people suffer and we see the wicked prosper.  We ask how can the Torah espouse such a system of reward and punishment when our lived reality often is very different.

One possible way to understand this is to look closely at the Hebrew grammar used.  In the verses from Deut. 11:13-11:20, God is speaking to the whole of the Israelites, to all of us together.  Righteous individual people may not always prosper, yet righteous communities tend to thrive.  We see the opposite as well, wicked communities eventually bring misfortune and ruin onto their members.

It matters what each of us does personally and it also matters with whom we associate.  When people come together in a community to help each other and to acknowledge God, they will find abundance.  

Come and find your abundance of joy, prayer, friendship and Jewish community with us tonight, 8 p.m. at Congregation Beth Mordecai.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Metz

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Torah Teachings