May 24, 2024
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This week’s parsha, Eikev, means to follow and in the first verse, it says when we follow Hashem and His Torah, then Hashem will show His kindness. This seems like easy instructions, but the act of being a follower is just as hard as being a leader. A follower needs to choose who and what to follow which may sound easy, but is truly hard.

From the time we left Egypt to the point of the Jews almost getting into Israel, we have seen the trouble of being a follower. The men followed those who suggested making a golden calf, many followed Korach, Datan and Aviram who led rebellions, the Jews decided to trust the words of the spies, and the Jews repeatedly followed the act of complaining. By following these people, many Jews did not receive the privilege of going into the land of Israel and almost caused the Jewish people to be completely destroyed.

On the other hand, the Levi’s followed Moshe when he asked who was with Hashem. Miriam was a leader to many of the Jews and caused women to have faith in Hashem and have the whole camp wait for her when she had tzara’at. The people followed Aaron which is why his death was mourned and shown in the Torah. When the Jews finally recognized the error of their ways, they followed Moshe and Hashem.

The Torah is the guide that we must follow but, sometimes, it is hard to choose to follow it. It was hard for the Jews who left Egypt and it is hard for Jews today. They knew it back then and we know it now, Hashem’s tests are to make us better and that He is with us in our daily lives, but we, sometimes, push back at it. Desire and scarcity of being different are what keeps us from doing what is right and prolonging us from reaching our destiny.

May we pull Hashem closer and recognize that everything is from Him—nothing is outdoing—the good and the bad. May we all recognize that not everything we desire is good and go towards the good in our lives and may we all recognize that being different and being a Jew is something to be proud of. May we know how to be good leaders and followers!

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