Love God as He Loves You

Jul 30, 2015

וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל מָה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֹׁאֵל מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי אִם־לְיִרְאָה אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל־דְּרָכָיו וּלְאַהֲבָה אֹתוֹ וְלַעֲבֹד אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶׁךָ׃

And now, O Yisrael, what does Hashem your God demand of you? Only this: to revere Hashem your God, to walk only in His paths, to love Him, and to serve Hashem your God with all your heart and soul,

Deuteronomy 10:12

אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ דֹּרֵשׁ אֹתָהּ תָּמִיד עֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּהּ מֵרֵשִׁית הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד אַחֲרִית שָׁנָה׃

It is a land which Hashem your God looks after, on which Hashem your God always keeps His eye, from year's beginning to year's end.

E-retz a-sher a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha do-RAYSH o-TAH ta-MEED ay-NAY a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha BA may-ray-SHEET ha-sha-NAH v'-AD a-kha-REET sha-NAH

Deuteronomy 11:12

All God wants from the people, Moses says, is for them to walk in His ways and follow His commandments. Only their forefathers from all nations did God choose for His own and their descendants for all eternity.

 

For this reason, Moses says, the people should circumcise the skin of their hearts and open themselves to God’s will. After all, God is not a man who can be bribed or swayed. He judges the wicked and protects the weak, so should the Israelites work to protect the weak. They should be kind to the stranger among them because they were once strangers in Egypt. As the Israel Bible points out, it is incumbent upon the people, the one-time slaves who are are to become masters, to treat those in their care better than they were once treated, as they know how it feels.

 

Remember, Moses reiterates, you saw God’s great might. Jacob went down to Egypt with a mere seventy people and a great nation arose. Moses reminds the people of the miracles God wrought on their behalf, from the plagues to the splitting of the sea to the punishment of Korah and his followers. Therefore, it behooves the Children of Israel to follow God’s word meticulously, that He may prolong their days upon the land which He has promised them.

 

This land is not like Egypt, Moses tells the nation. In Egypt, one has just to put his foot in the earth and drag water to his crops. In the Promised Land, however, the eyes of God are on the land from the beginning of the year to the end of the year and the land is dependent on rain for irrigation.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

The end of this passage clearly implies that for these reasons, Israel is better than Egypt. Why, though, do you think it is better to be dependent on rain rather than be able to irrigate the land at will and with ease?

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