Addressing a portion of Parashat Eikev from a communal rather than individual point of view.
In R. Jonathan Sacks’ most recent internet essay for Parashat Eikev, “Why Civilizations Fail”, he keys on the same verses that served as the catalyst for yesterday’s posting, “Thinking More of Oneself than One Should, but from a different perspective.
(This type of broad variation confirms the oft-cited principle associated with Jewish religious study, “Shivim Panim LaTora” [lit. there are seventy “faces” for the Tora; fig. the number “seventy” is not to be taken literally, but rather is understood symbolically connoting multiplicity, perhaps even infinity.] Therefore, it is to be expected that Words emanating from an Infinite Source, i.e., God, will themselves contain infinite connotations.)
11 Beware lest thou forget the LORD thy God, in not keeping His Commandments, and His Ordinances, and His Statutes, which I command thee this day; 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art satisfied, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 Then thy heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, Who Brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; 15 Who Led thee through the great and dreadful wilderness, wherein were serpents, fiery serpents, and scorpions, and thirsty ground where was no water; Who Brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 16 Who Fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that He might Afflict thee, and that He might Prove thee, to Do thee good at thy latter end; 17 And thou say in thy heart: My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God, for it is He that Giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may Establish His Covenant which He Swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day. 19 And it shall be, if thou shalt forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I forewarn you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20 As the nations that the LORD Maketh to perish before you, so shall ye perish; because ye would not hearken unto the Voice of the LORD your God.