Living in Amazing Times





Insight into: Eikev 

“You shall love the Lord your G‑d with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might.”

This famous quote comes from the first paragraph of the Shema. In this week’s parasha, Eikev, Moses continues with the second paragraph of the Shema, reiterating the mitzvah of loving G‑d. He says, “ … if you will diligently obey my commandments which I enjoin upon you this day, to love the Lord your G‑d and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul...” 

Five weeks prior to his death, Moses gathered the Jewish nation and gave one long monologue n the Book of Deuteronomy. That was the first time the Children of Israel heard the above command to “love G‑d.” 

Isn’t this strange? For 40 years, as they were wandering in the desert, Moses never found it important to share this fundamental concept of loving G‑d.


Now, when they’re finally about to enter the land of Israel, he remembers to talk about the relationship of G‑d and the Jewish people? 

To understand this, let’s look at a more familiar kind of relationship. 

Did you ever ask yourself why children love their parents? Maybe there is a simple reason. Children love their parents simply because they are there for them. Parents provide for all their needs: food, clothing, schooling and even social lives. No surprise that love abounds! 

The generation of the desert wanderers who left Egypt experienced an abundance of miracles. But not just any kind of miracles. G‑d took care of them like a mother protects and feeds her young. He provided them with manna from heaven as their daily food. Water came their way, and clouds of glory from above protected them from all undesirable elements. 

They didn’t need a command to love G‑d, explains the Lubavitcher Rebbe. For them, loving G‑d was a natural reaction. G‑d provided their basic needs, and they naturally responded with a love toward G‑d n the love of a child to a parent.


The new generation, however, was about to enter the Promised Land, where Moses knew that the era of miracles was soon to end. No more manna, no more protection n reality was about to hit. 

This was when the commandment to love G‑d became relevant. This group of people needed a specific reminder and encouragement to make a special effort to love G‑d. To them, it wouldn’t come naturally. 

I believe that in our generation, we are like the generation of the desert. If we would pause for a moment from worrying about our future and look around, we would recognize that we are truly living in a miraculous time. 

Life has never been better for the Jewish people. We are allowed to practice our religion anywhere in the world; even Iran has a large Jewish community. Jews are more affluent and influential than ever in our history. In the last election, we even came close to having a Jewish vice president in the U.S.


We just need to open our eyes and appreciate 

G‑d’s blessings. Don’t worry so much about the future; take the time to enjoy the present. 

Rabbi Zushe Greenberg is the spiritual leader of Solon Chabad.