This week’s parsha is called Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) and talks about the law and the benefits of following God’s commmandments. Junior Campers will notice that right in the middle of this parsha is our memory verse:
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God as of you but to fear the Lord your God to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet, the Lord set his affections on your forefathers and loved them and he chose you, their descendants, as it is today. Circumcise your hearts therefore, and do not be stiff necked any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords: the great God mighty and awesome who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. Fear the Lord your God and serve him, hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise, he is your God who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Campers, say these verses again. Check and see if you still know them or what parts you have gotten rusty on. Parents, ask your campers what these verses mean. Talk about them as a family. These are a great jumping off point to talk about the goodness of God and the endurance of his promises.They also talk about our response to these things. Our hearts are to be new and they are to be soft towards God. The words of the Sh’ma and V’havta (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) are in last week’s parsha and they instruct us to keep God’s words on our hearts, in our conversations in our homes, and with us as we walk through our days. Talk about God’s word with your parents (or with your kids) and fulfill the words of the V’havta. Impress God’s words on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road.