Eikev: From Head To Heel (Text Version)
In response to the numerous requests for the written version: The opening verse in this week’s portion reads: “This shall be the reward when you hearken to these ordinances.”
Rashi comments: If you hear even those commandments that people “tread on them with their heels, meaning, the Mitzvot that do not seem so important, God will reward you with the following blessings.
As we study the portion we will find the word “Shema” to hear, or hearken, and Shimor, to guard.
Perhaps Rashi is teaching us the accurate meaning of the word “Shema” and all that it entails.
As the Ramban points out: Head is always used as a beginning, and heel as the end.
Rashi is telling us that although we may observe all the Mitzvot, even those we believe less important, that may only be with our heads – We know what to do and we do it.
The heel represents a Mitzvah that has flowed through the entire body from head to heel – from beginning to end – To Hear is to allow the Mitzvah to connect with all our being, so that it is expressed in the way we walk – or, move forward.
Rashi is teaching us that this verse does not refer to observance of the Mitzvot – but the care that allows each Mitzvah to flow through our being so that each Mitzvah we observe is an expression of our being.
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