Do you know how to identify what is the thing you hunger for? And what makes you feel full and satisfied? (And not necessarily in terms of food?)
In this week’s Torah portion “Ekev” Moshe continues to tell the people the historical story of their ancestors (the desert generation), emphasizing the events from the liberation to slavery in Egypt to the promise to inherit the land. He highlights in his story the same events in which the desert generation fell into patterns of hunger and insatiability that manifested themselves in incessant complaints.
The portion begins with a verse that sounds like a kind of warning:
And it came to pass, if you hearken to these laws and followed them and kept the covenant with the Lord your God and the lovingkindness that he swore to your forefathers, loved you and blessed you….
But the word “EKEV” which is also the name of the Parsha, suggests that this is actually a sentence of cause and effect: Because (due to) keeping the commandments and laws, The Ten Commandments – God guards you and nourishes you. When you remember what the source of your abundance is — you gain abundance. (Ekev in Hebrew means becasuse and suggests a relationship of cause and effect, if…then!)
The whole story sounds like a mantra, stating, one thing they must be careful about is, to remember what the source of all things is, the power of the energy of creation and not the power of their own hands.
What caught my eye in reading this time, was the verse:
“And you ate and were satisfied and blessed your God for the good land which he gave you” (ibid., V. 10).
Why is being satisfied a mitzvah (good deed)?
The opposite of being satisfied is being hungry. And not necessarily for food. When a person is in a state of mental insatiability, of hunger, and let’s hunger control him, even if he consumes more and more of the same commodity, he is hungry for — he will not be satisfied, whether it is food, sex, drugs, internet, relationships and more.
Moses actually presents to the people a winning formula for staying in a state of abundance: “…and you ate and were satiated and blessed.”
Thanksgiving, blessing, gratitude, serves as a very important preventative against diseases of the inflationary disease of the ego. And when this happens, we disengage from the source of abundance, and become persecuted by external “idols” who never satisfy.
May we be blessed to avoid falling into the pits of hunger, deprivation and enslavement, and know how to cherish what we have in our lives and strive for abundance.