Eikev – Terms of Devotion

Theology

12 Now Israel, this is what YHWH asks of you: just to revere YHWH your God, to walk in his ways and to love him and to serve YHWH your God with all your heart and all your being.

Deuteronomy 10

Devotion – total and utter devotion… It is like being a devoted sports fan in a winning season. Our team is our life! We can cite all the statistics since the team was established. The great players are our idols, though probably with huge feet of clay. The head coach is our ally to reach the great goal: the championship. This season brings the promise of joy and triumph. True there might be some defeat, but it we can only make it this year and we deserve that championship title anyway!

Cheering crowd of people

Here’s an ancient cheer:

7 Gates: lift up your heads; eternal doorways: be lifted up as the commanding presence enters. … 9  Gates: lift up your heads; eternal doorways: lift up the as the commanding presence enters.

Psalm 24

Stand in the stadium at the final winning game; stand up because we can’t sit any more. The prize is seconds away as the clock runs down. The world around the stadium disappears and we are lifted up by the cheers of the multitude. The ecstasy of the winners is beating wildly through our hearts and ringing in our ears. We all chant and shout, jump and scream! We are all one inside the tumult as the championship is ours!!

Loyalty and devotion to the team have buoyed us up to this exalted moment, so breath in the air of the super-charged stadium. Scan the faces of your exhausted team because they have done this for you and you’ve been there for them. Cheer even more loudly as your voices soar above the rest of the world.

Finally, fans enthusiastically cheer as the team of players is in the blaze of the winners’ circle: trophy in hand, medals shining.

4 Indeed, you will greet him with blessing of goodness; you will place on his head a golden crown.

Psalms 21

Don’t we all love it when a plan comes together? This is a human crafted victory, which shows to what extent we can be devoted to something greater than ourselves.

Yet, there are gentler modes of devotion that wash over us like the waves on a calm day at the sea or a summer shower of delicate rain. Solitary moments experienced by individuals, without fanfare to cheer them on.

Midrash Harabah and English translations by Rabbi Gail Shuster-Bouskila ©2021

From “We all need grace” by Natan Zach sung by Nurit Galron

 
 We all want to give
 Only a few know how.
 We should learn now
 That happiness does not smile,
 What is ever given
 Will never be taken.
 We all need grace,
 We all need touch.
 Get warmth but not with money,
 Gained by touching.
 To give without wanting to take
 And not out of habit.