Leahs Blog- Parshat Eikev 2021
Good things come out of a box in Michal’s new thrift store here. It’s ironic that at the top of the carton, a pair of Ben and Jerry’s flip flops stare me in the face. Exactly my size, I try them on, and hear a song playing in my mind by Nancy Sinatra, “You keep saying you’ve got something for me. Something you call love but confess, you’ve been messing where you shouldn’t be messing, and now someone else is getting all your best. These boots are made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do, one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you. You keep lying when you ought to be truthing, you keep losing when you ought to not bet- what’s right is right but you aint been right yet. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.” Granted, its summer and we’re wearing flip flops, not boots but I have a feeling when I wear these I will grin in pride and humility in each step at the same time. I’m sure you heard Ben and Jerrys joined BDS and are divesting from Israel. Ben and Jerry’s tried to humble, no actually humiliate one specific brand of people on this entire globe- Jewish settlers of Judea and Samaria. Don’t let them tell you otherwise: They’ve turned their backs on the motherland! They will SAY they still support Israel – don’t buy it. They represent an alarming number of Jews that have forgotten what Judea and Samaria means to us, what Israel means to us, what the beating heart means. It’s my humble privilege to remind them about the place their grandparents prayed about at least three times a day, and that miraculously it happened and were back. I am here to remind them that when and if they are in a synagogue on a Shabbat and hear the cantor sing the portion of the week most likely it will be about where I live. Israel- where is your border? I am proud to be a part of enterprising, heroic, sacrificing, doing, builders of our homeland .There, in Algonquin Vermont, in the dark of the lowest place in core identity they proclaim, “We seek in all we do to advance human rights and dignity, support social justice for HISTORICALLY marginalized communities and protect and restore Earths natural systems.” Ben and Jerry, why does such delicious ice cream come out of weakness and perversion of what Israel is historically? We’re talking about two Jewish men that are divesting from Israel because Jews live in the HEART of Israel and have lived here- its embedded into our DNA., Here on Itamar, no-one cares more for the earth than us. Were you ever even here to know?
In this Torah reading Hashem describes the Shefa and bounty we will enjoy in the Land in return for the adherence to mitzvoth. The language of the Torah in this Parsha (Eikev) points to actually mean heel. If you walk in all this goodness (with your heel) even to the lowest planes of humility, to the pits of darkness and spiritual indifference and are able to rise above, not caving to the fleshpots-you will enter paradise. However, if you rebel against the blessings bestowed upon you, you will be kicked hard with a compacted heel. Ben and Jerry- you guys are not even IN the Promised Land. Why are we your Achilles heel?
These boxes I’m sorting through, a silverly skirt shimmers, the touch of a plain cotton white shirt perfect for the summer heat brings me delight. They are fashioned out of the hard labor of Yad Leah, an organization tailored for the love of the Jewish people that live in Judea and Samaria by two great humble women, Jessica Katz and Karen Thaler( who deserve an award for their self-sacrifice) and also all the many people that donate, send beautiful clothing and accessories as well as the unseen tsaddikim that come to sort and pack thousands upon thousands of boxes sent here to Israel. Their brainstorm was to get klal Yisrael and other lovers of Israel involved in sending blessings to the builders and heroes, to the mothers, the babies, the young children, men boys and the brave soldiers protecting us and our Land. The blessing of Yad Leah as they dress us from head to toe has become a legend. It’s an incredible zechut. They don’t differentiate between Itamar and Petach Tikva, Chevron or Hertzilya, Mitzpeh Yericho and Ramat Aviv. I will walk in my new Ben and Jerry flip flops over Abraham’s footsteps and take them to a new dimension of walking in truth!
So Ben, when you eat your Golden Calf ice cream and and Jerry when you lie about Israel- when you both mess where you shouldn’t be messing, we will just bask in the sweet pomegranate and refresh ourselves with the dates that drip with the milk and honey of this Land. You can eat your ice cream and we will continue to prepare. We will serve G-d and you can serve ice cream. We’ll use settling to change the world, wearing your flip flops. TODA RABA! Good things!
Shabbat shalom, Leah