Selected Sermon/Article
2009-08-07 Beyond Twelve Gates (BTG) by Rabbi Zeev Smason
Parshas Eikev
Beyond Twelve Gates Parshas Eikev August 7, 2009

Beyond Twelve Gates                 Parshas Eikev                       August 7, 2009


Welcome to Beyond Twelve Gates.  Each of us faces adversity.  How we deal with our challenges, though, differs dramatically from person to person.  Someone once said, 'I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails.'  Here are a few examples of people who adjusted their sails:


Einstein couldn't speak until he was four years old, and didn't read until he was seven.

Beethoven's music teacher said about him, "As a composer, he is hopeless.'

Walt Disney was once fired by a newspaper editor because he 'had no good ideas.'

Caruso was told by one music teacher, "You can't sing. You have no voice at all."

In 1922, Harry Truman was thirty-eight, in debt and out of work. Twenty three years later, he was the leader of the free world.


Happy sailing!



Parshas Eikev -- Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25


Eikev begins as Moses continues to encourage the Children of Israel to trust in G-d and in the prosperity and health which will follow if they keep the Torah.  Moses reminds them of their numerous transgressions in the desert, including the mystifying sin of the Golden Calf.  He describes the bountiful Land of Israel, including its seven special, unique and delicious fruits. Moses teaches the people the second paragraph of the Shema which stresses the fundamental doctrine of reward and punishment. All that G-d requires of the Jews, Moses says, is to love G-d, revere Him, and to observe His Torah. Easier said than done!  Parshas Eikev concludes with the promise that G-d will provide the Jewish people with protection if they observe the laws of the Torah.


Rabbinic Ruminations


One of the more famous quotes from the Torah is found in this week's Parsha : 'Man does not live by bread alone, but by all that comes from the mouth of G-d.'  Have you ever wondered it means?


Physical nourishment and stimulation aren't sufficient for a satisfied life.  J.Paul Getty once had an intriguing question put to him. He was asked, 'How much is enough?'  Getty smiled and responded, 'A little bit more.'   It's certainly true that whether you're rich or poor it's nice to have money, but 'man does not live by bread alone.'  Man also has spiritual needs.  Spiritual needs are fulfilled from 'the mouth of G-d.'   We need meaningful lasting pleasure in our lives. We need to love, and to be loved.  We need to give to others and express creativity in our own unique way.  And we need to have a relationship with the Almighty.


Quote of the Week


I believe that things happen for a reason. I'll just leave it at that. I wouldn't say it's been good, bad or other.  I believe it's been good for my growth as a person and a player. I'm thankful for all of it.  -- Matt Holliday



Joke of the Week


Doctor Bloom who was known for miraculous cures for arthritis had a waiting room full of people when a little old lady, completely bent over in half, shuffled in slowly, leaning on her cane.
When her turn came, she went into the doctor's office, and, amazingly, emerged within half an hour walking completely erect with her head held high.
 A woman in the waiting room who had seen all this walked up to the little old lady and said, "It's a miracle! You walked in bent in half and now you're walking erect. What did that doctor do?"
She answered, "Miracle, shmiracle . . . he gave me a longer cane."


Thanks for reading 'Beyond Twelve Gates'.  Comments, questions, requests to be added to our email list or better jokes can be sent to or   Care to know more about Nusach Hari Bnai Zion Congregation?  Check us out at  If you enjoyed Beyond Twelve Gates, please share with a friend. Thanks to Alan Haber for his assistance in distributing BTG