Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Shabbat Ekev 5776

This is the time of year when parents move their children out of the house and into a dorm room. By and large, it’s an American rite of passage. While parents remain responsible for their children in many ways (tuition especially!), what we do when we pack them up and take them to campus is giving them a measure of independence. We are saying that the journey that led us to this day was about preparing them to live on their own.
 
In the Torah portions of Deuteronomy, God’s children are preparing for matriculation, as it were. As 40 years of life in the wilderness is drawing near its end, a new reality awaits Israel–the Promised Land. Has God been prepping Israel for independence? Hardly! As Moshe says this week in Parshat Ekev: “Remember the long way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you…He humbled you by letting you hunger, and then fed you with manna…in order to teach you that one does not live by bread alone, but by everything that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (8:2-3)
 
Granted, life in the wilderness required dependence on God. But as the People prepare for the Land, with its promise of plenty, won’t things change? In and land flowing with milk and honey, Israel should be able to achieve independence!
 
On Shabbat morning, we’ll explore the balance between dependence and independence. with the key factor being water. What can we learn from the Torah and from modern water technology about balancing dependence and independence?
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
 
Rabbi David Wise