Some reflections as Elul dawns on this season's potential to help us drawn close to the divine power of connection and concern we call God.
Texts whose beauty and simplicity spark the imagination often offend our reason when we look at them critically. But even through the eyes of reason, we can appreciate the value of simple and powerful texts as catalysts to moral behavior. The blessings and curses in parashat Eikev fall into this category, asking us to consider: What if it were true that my behavior could impact the flourishing or demise of my community? How would I act then? And even if the rain won't fall on my account ... shouldn't I act that way anyway?
“To be effective, the preacher's message must be alive; it must alarm, arouse, challenge; it must be God's present voice to a particular people.”