Portion of Eikev 5773‏


Portion of Eikev 5773‏

Moshe, Moses, the 2 Tablets Man (10 Commandments - given twice) has the 7 portions of Torah leading up to Rosh Hashono mostly to himself.- and throws in some new tidbits here and there which explain things - but sometimes raise questions - and today I had a few. 

So it was funny after prayers this morning to study Eikev - the portion we read tomorrow - and Rashi - the medievil Rabbinic commentary - and then getting an email from my old study-partner Rabbi Joshua Hoffman (when we were in Yeshiva together in Israel) - who was concerned by the same issue! 

He wrote a beautiful comprehensive essay - but I will try in a few words to bring his conclusions and mine to this page. 

He wrote "The first luchos (tablets - later broken by Moses) were both made and written by God, while the second luchos were made by Moshe and written by God. (For) the second luchos, God told Moshe ... to build an aron, or ark of wood, in which to store them.... Rashi... says that it is not the same ark as the one for the Temple...(which) Betzalel built. ... According to Rashi, the broken luchos remained in the aron (ark) made by Moshe, and that aron, with the broken luchos inside, went out to war with the people (when they conquerred Israel)." 

Rabbi Josh quotes Rav Amnon Bazak and others who discuss which Tablets were holier. Some say,the second luchos were on a higher level than the first, because the second set was made by Moshe, thus adding the human element to G-d's work. (This is the Jewish explanation of why we are here on Earth - to add a human element to G-d's Creation). 

This "human element that assured their permanence ... in God’s realm, indicating that the covenant He made with the Jewish people would remain forever. " 

But I had another issue. The portion quotes Moses saying "I had to go up on the MOUNTAIN again for 40 days and nights to bring you these tablets". Moses went up there 40 days for the first tablets. Then after the Golden Calf he went up AGAIN 40 days to pray that G-d forgive the people. 

And then G-d says - come up again 40 more days toprepare the second set of Tablets which will last forever - and not be broken. Why the 3 forties? 

So I think that fits in with what Rabbi Josh says - that WE ADD OUR SPIRIT TO G-D'S CREATION AND IT BECOMES HOLIER. 

Moses did that - and that effort created the permanent BOND of ISRAEL and G-d and TORAH. 

May we be blessed to keep it strong and a light to the world. 

Shabbat Shalom 

Rabbi Andy Eichenholz