Parashat Eikev might be termed “Parashat Deja Vu.” There is material here that may give us the feeling, “Haven’t I heard this before?”
We hear the story of the Golden Calf again, which we heard once before in Exodus. We hear the story of the making and breaking and remaking of the tablets. We also hear smaller, more recent repetitions: in Deuteronomy 9:1, we hear the formula “Shema, Israel” that we heard earlier at Deuteronomy 6:4.
Why is Moses repeating himself?
We could say, well, Moses was old. He was nearing his 120th year and he was exhausted. Maybe his mind was slipping a bit.
But more likely he had had time, over the forty years, to think about all these stories, and he understood them differently now than he had when they first occurred. Moses has learned and grown, and he is sharing those new insights with his people before his death, and before they enter the Land.
Also, Moses has a new audience: these are the children and grandchildren of the Israelites who left Egypt.
Some insights on the portion:
Thanks for the Memories by Rabbi Amy Scheinerman
Walking and Listening by Rabbi John Rosove
Walking on the Heels of God by Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild
Stuff Doesn’t Just Happen by Rabbi Don Levy
Jon Stewart and Moses on BS by Rabbi Seth Goldstein