This week we are reading Parashat Eikev. Moses reminds the Israelites of all of the gifts that God has given them, that they will continue to be blessed and they will be able to enter the Promised Land, a few enemies defeated along the way…of course, with the help of God. Moses recalls the years of hardships that they had endured, but despite it all, they survived. God watched over them, and will continue to do so, but they must promise to keep the commandments.
Moses reminds them that they must always remember to give thanks for the land and the gifts that God gives them, and be grateful for the forgiveness that was given to them and to their ancestors.
We can’t forget that this group of Israelites that Moses was addressing did not have THE experience of Sinai. The experience is what their parents had told them. And Moses is aware of that:
“Take thought this day that it was not your children who neither experienced nor witnessed the lessons of the Lord your God” (11:2)
Moses wants the history from the Red Sea to the border of the Promised Land to be told and re-told to this new generation who will travel the long road to the Promised Land. He needs them to be motivated, and to understand that they are a part of the covenant that goes beyond those that left Egypt and reached Sinai.
How do we fit into that long chain of tradition today? We weren’t at Sinai, but our ancestors were. We no longer use stone tablets, but we are still a part of the story. We must continue to empower and inspire future generations to know the story, to tell and re-tell it, so that they understand that each one of us are here because they paved the way for us, as we must do for future generations.