Drash Cards for Eikev (5763)
by Marc Mangel
• Moses reassures the Israelites that God will bring them safely into Cananna, not because they are righteous but because of God’s commitment to the patriarchs.
• An aside: this material (Ch 9) is an argument against self-rigteousness and the victory is no proof of virture If they disobey the commandments, Moses warns them that they will be exiled from the Promised land. Idolatrous statues are to be burned, and their previous metals not brougght into a Jewish home. Someone who eats and is satisfied should thank God for the food. The commandments of tefillin and mezzuah are repeated.
• Today: Controversial topic: prayer
•Heschel ‘Man’s Quest for God
“To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the divine maring in all attainments”
• Art Green – Beginning of religion is awe
“Prayer is the essence of spiritual living. Its spell is present in every spiritual experience”
“The idea of prayer is based upon the assumption of man’s ability to accost God, to lay our hopes, sorrows, and wishes before Him”
“God is not alone when discarded by man. But man is alone”
Ch 11, verse 13
• Rashi “serve God with all your heart – service which is with heart”
• Everlyn Garfiel ‘Service of the Heart’
• But how do we begin the amida? Pslam 51, verse 17 We would expect to begin with “for you hear in mercy the prayer of every heart’.
• Why the difference? It is the mercy of God to accept even prayers that come only from the mouth, as lip-service, wihtout inner devotion
• What is the nature of kavanah? Prayer is not thinking. “To the thinker, God is an object, to the man who prayers, He is the subject…Life is fashioned by prayer, and prayer is the quintessence of life”
• Midrash: How to make telifah a ‘service of the heart’
Cleanse your mind of all foreign thouths and imagine standing before the shechina
Understand the meaning of the words that you pray and focus on them
Reshonim took 7 seconds a wor d for the first paragraph of the amida
• End again with Heschel
“Ultimately the goal of prayer is not to translate a word but to translate the self; not to render an ancient vocabularly into more terminology but to transform our thoughts”
•It’s a spiritual workout!