Success is a Gift of G-d: A Torah Thought for Parashat Ekev
By Michael Fuah
“Because G-d, your G-d is bringing you to a good Land. And you shall eat and you shall be satiated and you shall bless G-d, your G-d for the good Land that He has given you.” (From this week’s Torah portion, Ekev, Deuteronomy 8:7, 10)
Sometimes we are so involved in man-made troubles that we forget to give thanks for all the wondrous good that G-d gives us. Just over 70 years ago, we were at the receiving end of the prophecy that opens this week’s Prophets reading: “And Zion said G-d has abandoned me and my Master has forgotten me,” and now we have merited “And He will love you and He will bless you and He will make you many and bless the fruits of your womb and the fruits of your earth, your grain and the juice of your grapes and your oil.” (Deuteronomy 7: 13).
Gratitude does not come naturally; we must work on acquiring it. On the contrary, when all is going well, one often forgets the feelings of lack and dependence that he feels in times of trouble. In truth though, all is a gift from G-d, and we must thank Him for every detail throughout the day.
The good that we have been promised is not a given. The feeling that we are on a direct route to the Final Redemption often dangerously dovetails with the plague of “My strength and the power of my hand brought me this success,” causing us to forget our responsibility to nurture the process in which we are living. G-d directs us to build a kingdom of priests and a holy nation that calls out in the Name of G-d and is a moral beacon for the world. Nowhere in the Torah does He call upon us to establish a normal state that will find its place among the nations. The reason that Israel – strong and prosperous – is losing the legitimacy for its existence hinges on this understanding.
It is up to us: “And if you will listen to My voice – “No man will stand in your path, G-d, your G-d will put fear and trepidation of you on the entire Land upon which you will step.”