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Parshat Eikev

Parshat Eikev

In this weeks Parsha, after rebuking the Jewish people for their sins in the desert, Moses tells them that G-d cannot be bribed.

Obviously, since G-d commanded us not to accept bribes, so He too cannot accept a bribe!

At the same time, he asks, "What does your G-d want from you? -- but to to fear Him..."

However in the 13 Attributes and in the Priestly blessings, we do in fact say, Yisah Hashem Panav Eilecha - which means to say that G-d in fact has compassion and will show kindness?

The Rabbis explain, that when we are in favor with G-d, then he shows kindness and can in fact be bribed, but when we are out of favor, then He cannot.

Who needs favors when we're being good? We need His kindness exactly when we are bad.

The answer is, G-d is not like man. A human judge can only rule based on facts and what he sees. He cannot rule based on his common sense or heart. G-d on the other hand, who sees and hears our hearts, can forgive and rule favorably despite our shortcoming.

What is meant that He takes bribes when we don't turn our backs on him, is that we all make mistakes and may sin or err from time to time. But if we feel remorse and still cry to G-d, then he accepts this bribe of repentance and will judge us favorable. He won't however, if we cross the red line and turn our backs on him totally.

As we approach the upcoming High Holidays, let us all recommit ourselves to G-d and "bribe" Him with Teshuvah/Repentance,  Tefillah/Prayer and Tzedakah/Charity.

Shabbat Shalom

Sun, October 1 2023 16 Tishrei 5784