August 11, 2012 – Parshat Ekev – “Why? In order to learn.”
It’s hard to believe, but the countdown towards the New Year has begun. Last week we began with counting a total of 7 shabbats left before the end of the year, and today it is 6.
I invite you to join me in “the countdown,” as we try to prepare, or at least as we try to begin to prepare for what is to come.
From this week’s reading, Im reflecting on the verse (paraphrase Deut. 8:1-3), “Remember the long way G-d made you travel in the wilderness these past 40 years, that you were tested by hardships in order to learn what was in your hearts…”
Sometimes we have to go the long way, or in hebrew, “kol haderech,” “the whole way,” and we may not know why. Whether its a “wrong turn” on a road, or a long and windy spiritual path, it is suggested that herein is our opportunity to learn what lies within our hearts. Our challenge is not to get stuck on the GPS directions of another’s voice, but to listen to our own voice, and to let it, along with the wisdom of tradition, guide our own path. During our countdown, we start to shift gears in order to learn from the year that has passed, its ups and its downs, “what’s truly in our hearts?”
Shabbat shalom and “only 6 to go,”
Rabbi Mark Melamut