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    What a heel – Ekev

    The opening verse of the sidra of Ekev (Deut. 7:12) has two translations.

    One is, “It shall come to pass ekev – because – you listen to and keep these rules, that the Lord your God will keep the covenant with you”.

    The other translation says that ekev means “a heel”.

    Rashi explains, “If you listen to even the ‘lighter’ commands which people tend to tread on with their heel, then God will keep His covenant with you”.

    Some commands are not highly regarded by a section of Jews. They speak of tinkering with pots and pans and regard the minute detail of the food laws as deserving only to be treated like Haman’s name in the Megillah, to be trodden on and blotted out.

    Some people have no patience for the intricacies of Shabbat observance, which they say have no grandeur or inspiration and warrant being trodden on and eradicated with the heel.

    Normative Judaism has a different view. It says nothing should be trodden on because everything is all part of the pattern that makes even the smallest moment and experience a spiritual opportunity.

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