Much of the book of Deuteronomy, and definitely 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.

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 divrei Torah on the portion:

Melissa Carpenter –  Eikev: No Satisfaction

Rabbi Marc Saperstein – Not by Bread Alone: Strange Food from the Sky

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat – When Life Feels Like a Wilderness

Rabbi Sylvia Rothchild – Justice and Mercy

Rabbi Nina J Mizrahi – Your Wilderness Will Become Like Eden

Rabbi Ruth Adar – Eikev: Insight on Circumcision

Rabbi Nancy H. Weiner – The Medium and the Message

 

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