Parshas Eikev

AV, 5779

One of the most powerful and miraculous little known stories of the Holocaust, was the rescue of Danish Jewry.

In this moving testimony, conducted by Amud Aish Memorial Museum in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Dr. Ibn Nathan Bamberger shares his memories of his childhood in Denmark, the rescue of his community, and their experiences in Denmark after the war ended.



Dear Friend,

Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (1847-1905), was a renowned scholar and the Rebbe of the Ger Chassidim in Poland. His discourses and responsa on Torah, Talmud and halachah, were published posthumously under the title, Sfas Emes.


The Sfas Emes notes a discrepancy in this week’s parashah. When referring to the luchos, the tablets containing the 10 commandments, the pasuk (verse) states,  “Carve out for yourself tablets”. However, when addressing the prohibition of creating idols, the verse says, “For yourself you should not carve out idols”. Why is the word “yourself” mentioned after the action of carving the luchos, yet when discussing idols, “yourself” precedes the act of carving?

The Rebbe explains that the foundation of serving Hashem is doing so in an altruistic fashion. Any action we do should be devoid of personal gratification or pleasure, rather purely for the sake of Heaven. Of course, this is a lifelong challenge. However, we must at least attempt to initiate the action with pure intentions, and the personal benefits that we derive should only be secondary. The Torah is alluding to this lesson by the position of the word “yourself”. The luchos represent serving Hashem, hence the word “yourself” follows the creation of the luchos. However, since idol worship is the opposite of glorifying G-d, the word “yourself” precedes the action.


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