Thought of the Week

Rabbi Rebecca writes:

Therefore press these words upon your very heart; bind them as a sign on your forehead and teach them to your children..reciting them when you stay at home and when you are away and when you lie down and when you get up..and inscribe them on the doors of your house and on your gates…

We know these words well but not the reward that is immediately offered after their rendition in this place of Torah, Parashat Eikev, (meaning a subjective If) in order that you and your children may endure in the land sworn to your ancestors … (Deut 11:118-20).

The words of the shema have accompanied Jews for generations. Amazingly despite the fact progressive Jews often choose not to respond to the call to tefillin (as the reference to forehead implies), but do affix our homes with mezuzot, send our children to Ivriah and carry this Jewish identity of ours wherever we go. I thought of this in Athens when I took the children to the Jewish Museum of Greece, not to have done so was unthinkable.    

See this poem by Laurie Patton called Eikev 


There is a lightness
when we cross a threshold-
wood frames sunk into soft soil,
steel-frames of old tenements
that have carried the weight
of slow, sad steps above them;
sometimes, even, 
a mezuzah points upwards
like a finger:
No matter the sorrow, 
every door holds a hope
of difference, of newness-
the thought that
our days will multiply….

Shabbat Shalom wherever you are this August and wherever you travel to…