In Response to numerous requests for the text version of the podcast: “Perhaps you will say in your heart, these nations are more numerous than I; how will I be able to drive them out? Do not fear them! You shall remember…”
The verse actually describes a series of steps:
1) These nations are more numerous than I.
2) How will I be able…
3) Do not fear…
The seed of fear and doubt is planted the minute the people say; “These nations are more numerous.”
The verse does not mention fear. It simply says, “you will say in your heart.”
The battle with the Canaanites will change with that simple statement: It changes from a war in which God will lead Israel to a regular battle that must be examined and studied by numbers, strategies and weapons.
The next word is Eicha – How – the word that is the theme of the Three Weeks of Destruction ; Eicha – How? Alas! Woe!
We create the sense of doubt in our hearts, and that doubt leads to Eicha.
The verse is teaching us that all the Eichas of the three weeks that climaxed and ended in Tisha B’Av began with doubts – doubts planted in our hearts by us.
The verse continues with “Do not fear.” Once the doubt has been planted in our hearts, once we ask even a silent Eicha – we will begin to fear.
This week’s portion Eikev – is a description of different processes: The process of learning a Mitzvah in our heads and allowing it to flow all the way through our bodies into our heels. The process of Reward and Punishment. And now, the process we begin with our unstated doubts and questions that lead to fear, and a battle that will have to be waged on a more practical level rather than allowing God to fight for us.