Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) So That … So That … So That!
This week’s Torah Portion provides one with a very important lesson on parenting, specifically chapter 11. Under the inspiration of God, Moses in 11:2 informs the people that he is speaking to the parents. Obviously, the fathers regarding the instruction of the children; however, but I think that room can be made for mom in this passage as well.
The parents of the Israelites who are now about to cross over into the Promised Land were all under the age of 20 at Kadesh-Barnea when the people rejected the promise and were driven back into the wilderness for 38 years. They are the ones who saw the discipline of the Lord (v. 2, 7) and it is now their job to instruct their children on the way they should live as the Chosen People of God.
In providing this direction to the parents, Moses then proceeds to give three “so that’s” as motivation. The first one in verse 8 provides the “so that” the people might be strong when they go into possess the land. The second in verse 9 is “so that” they might have long life. The third “so that” is in verse 21 and is tied together with the instruction (first found in Deut. 6:4-9) to teach their children. The reason for this tying together of the “so that’s” is “so that” the possession of the land might be multiplied. This multiplication of “so that” is then connected to a secondary and probably a conditional promise – if they will obey, the land they receive will extend from the Mediterranean on the West to the Euphrates in the East and from Lebanon in the North to the wilderness in the South.
This last “so that” is filled with possibilities and promise and perhaps even prophecies. But let’s be careful how far we take verses 18-25 for it is difficult to know how to come to a final interpretation of this “so that.” However, it is something to think about and even more to dream about, especially in these days of wars and rumors of wars. Shalom. God bless.