Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Parshat Ekev (a vacation-delayed post)

You can read the basics here.

I'm under the impression, possibly incorrect, that the relatively-recent innovation known as the Tu BiSh'vat seder (of which there are many versions) is based on Deuteronomy, chapter 8, verses 7-10. The far-more-ancient Birkat HaMazon/Grace after Meals is based on 8:10, which is included as the chatimah/"seal"/closing of the second b'rachah/blessing therein.

Some modest guy Moshe/Moses was, exaggerating his "suffering-prophet" status by claiming to have spent 40 days and nights with neither bread nor water--twice--while on Har Sinai getting the commandments. (See Deuteronomy 9:9-18.) On the plus side, this is the first time he mentions that HaShem was angry at the "teflon priest," his brother Aharon/Aaron, for having crafted the Egel HaZahav/Golden Calf, and that he prayed for forgiveness for his brother (verse 20).

The quote-hunter strikes again: Our ancient rabbis (CHAZAL?), when they were choosing wording for the "Avot/Ancestors" paragraph that begins "The Tefillah"/"The Prayer", now more usually known as the Amidah (Standing Prayer, recited while standing), used Deuteronomy 10:17, "haKel, hagadol, hagibbor, v'hanora, the G-d, great, might, and awesome."

The second paragraph of the Sh'ma is found in Deuteronomy 11:13-21. (Apparently, I posted about this paragraph a couple of weeks too soon.)


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