Ekev August 8, 2015 / 23 Av, 5775

The great founder of Chasidic Judaism translated the first two words of this week’s parasha, “V’haya ekev,” (Deut. 7:12) as “And the end shall be that you will obey these rules and observe them faithfully.” The Ba’al Shem Tov’s emphasis was on, “the end,” going on to say that this verse means that every commandment one does should be viewed as the last one might ever perform in life (UAHC Torah Commentary, p. 1384). What if we used this principle to rule our every day actions, especially as the season of repentance draws near? What if this day were our last? Would we be proud of how we behaved and the good we did with the time we had? Perhaps this thought can guide us as we head toward Elul, the month of preparation that precedes Rosh Hashanah (Elul begins on August 15).