November 17, 2018

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Ekev with Rabbi Michael Beals

Our guest this week is Rabbi Michael Beals, leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Wilmington, Delaware. Rabbi Beals was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is also a graduate of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (MA Hebrew Letters), of American University in Washington DC (MA International Relations), and of the University of California at Berkeley (BA Political Science). He received the Raoul Wallenberg Fellowship at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Rabbi Beals, who has served Congregation Beth Shalom for 11 years, has also worked in a variety of roles from serving as a management analyst developing multi-cultural training programs to working with young and old in programs of music therapy, Shabbat programming, and providing pastoral counseling and support to the sick and elderly and to the families that support them.

In this Week's Torah Portion – Parashat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) – Moses continues his address to the people of Israel, promising them that they will prosper in the land of Israel if they obey God's commandments. He reminds them of their sins, but stresses God's forgiveness. Moses describes the land of Israel to the people, demands that they destroy the idols of its former dwellers, and warns them of thinking that their power and might, rather than the lord, have gotten them their wealth. Our discussion focuses on the word Ekev, on the many associations it raises, and on the idea of severing historically significant passages from the Jewish prayer book.

Our Past discussions of Parashat Ekev:

Rabbi William Hamilton on Moses' retelling of the Golden Calf story and on the reasons behind God's forgivness toward the people of Israel.

Rabbi Robert Dobrusin on the importance of allowing our faith to grow with us and adapt to different circumstances in our lives

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on the conditional and unconditional aspects of God’s covenant with Israel