Prepared by Rabbi Stephen Texon
Our greatest prophet Moses Continues his review of the triumphs and failures of the Israelites from their great Exodus from Egypt to the days that they stand poised to enter the promised land. He is tremendously worried that after his passing away which is imminent, the people will drift away from following G-d's law. The condition that he impresses upon the nation is that they must follow the laws of the Torah or they would face the consequences of defeat in their quest to conquer the land or worse. He knows that his successor Joshua is the right man to lead them, but will they fulfill G-d's will as well? Therefore Moses combines both a "pep-talk" to encourage them but also gives them a dire warning to adhere to the laws of the Torah.
"Eikev tishmeun", IF you will listen (observe) the commandments you will succeed and prosper but if not, you will fail. The most fascinating word "Eikev" which literally means "heel" is used in the admonition. Why, what's the connection? Do not step on these holy mitzvot with your heels, do not kick them down or off the road of life as you travel on. To the contrary, preserve them and cherish them as you travel on the road of life, and then you will more assuredly achieve success along the way and reach the final destination which you dream of with G-d's blessings and great love.
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