Health, Nutrition & Torah: Eikev

| July 28, 2010

The Text:

8:3 [God] subjected you to the hardship of hunger and then gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known, in order to teach you that a human being does not live on bread alone, but that one may live on anything that The Eternal decrees.

8:7-10 For your Eternal God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey; a land where you may eat food without stint, where you will lack nothing; a land whose rocks are iron and from whose hills you can mine copper.  When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to your Eternal God for the good land given to you.

The Context:

Moses instructs the people that if they keep their covenant with God they will be fruitful and victorious over their enemies.  The incident of the Golden Calf is described, as is the rebellion at Kadesh-barnea and how Moses intervened on behalf of the people with God, who granted them another set of tablets on which the Ten Commandments were engraved.

What it Means for Advocates:

What does it mean not to live on bread alone?  What else is essential to each of us for our survival?

The US government has identified a minimum wage, established by each state and listed here.  There is a movement to eliminate the minimum wage in favor of a living wage.  The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism outlines a living wage in depth here.  In short, a living wage is the minimum hourly wage required for a person working a 40-hour week, with no additional income, to move from below the poverty line.  Does your community have a living wage?  When was the last time living wages were on the ballot?  Visit the Living Wage Resource Center to find out more about living wages and how you can get involved by starting a campaign in your community!

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