Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Eikev - 5777
GRATEFULNESS, A SPIRITUAL PROTECTOR
Mindfulness is a very significant component in our service of Hashem. In Pareshat Eikev we are warned several times not to forget the events of the past, and to remember our responsibility to the Almighty and his teachings. The Torah states, “Be careful that you do not forget Hashem by failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Lest when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase, and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget Hashem, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
Wealth and financial success can become a challenge to our spiritual growth. Indeed, it caused the downfall of our ancestors, which eventually led to the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash.
The Torah wants us to appreciate the good we have, and see it as a gift from above. When that is done, it can become a tool in our spiritual mission, and not a detriment.
Right before this warning is stated, the Torah tells us, "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise Hashem for the good land he has given you.” The only way to use physical gifts appropriately is with appreciation and gratefulness to the true giver.