Parshat Eikev: Conditions of the Promised Land

Goodness is the premise to begin to know the Creator of all, for He as a universal ruling principle teaches us in the Torah that the purpose of His creation is to make goodness prevail.

The ethical frame of goodness does not compromise with traits, ways or tendencies that contradict its purpose. Thus we realize that in our upbringing in goodness there is no space for evil of any kind, for the sake of safeguarding the harmony that goodness provides for every aspect and expression of human consciousness.

“The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire, you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, or take it for yourself, lest you be snared therein; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 7:25)

We have said often that in our current times idol worship encompasses more than kneeling down to graven images and what they represent. They also mean everything that breaks our free will and subjugates our discernment, emotions, feelings and instincts against what we consider most sacred in life.

Thus we understand that addictions, attachments and obsessions based on beliefs or feelings of lack are indeed the idols and false gods for which we have to work every day. In this regard the book of Ecclesiastes by king Solomon opens our eyes about what is truly significant and meaningful “under the sun”, by making a clear distinction between the reality of love and the illusion of vanity (see the commentaries on Ecclesiastes in my blog

“And you shall not bring an abomination into your house, and be accursed to yourself. You shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is a cultish thing.” (7:26)

Negative traits and trends derived from ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions are something that we should not bring into our consciousness as the invisible house where we permanently dwell. We are truly cursed by anything different than the ways, means and attributes of goodness, hence we must reject evil from grey to black without exceptions, concessions or compromises.

The reason is quite simple. All we bring to the chambers of discernment, thoughts, mind, emotions, feelings, speech and actions sooner or later become the reference to approach life and the material world. In other words, we must know very well the qualities of what we put in our consciousness, for “at the end of the day” that will direct or control our life after we become the addictions, attachments or obsessions as the cults we follow and serve.

“All the commandment which I command you this day you shall observe to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers.” (8:1)

We also have said that Moses represents our highest knowledge of the Creator as the ruling principle of every aspect, dimension and expression of life. Our highest knowledge and awareness of goodness must be the directing and guiding reference in order to expand and multiply our cognitive abilities, and become one with it as the land God promised to us.

In this context the message, the messenger and the recipient of the message are one and the same. This is the culmination of our wars and battles against the peoples and nations that don’t allow us to possess and dwell in the goodness that we want to reign in our life.

The last book of the Torah repeatedly commands us, not only to defeat our enemies as the manifold ways of evil, but also to avoid falling into their negative traits, trends and patterns in which we trap our thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions. These represent the aberration of living in exile from our land as the goodness that is also our essence and true identity.

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Zefat.
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