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Daily Aliya for Ekev, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Moshe charges the Israelites to love and fear G‑d, and to serve Him. He expounds on G‑d’s greatness, and impresses on the Israelites their great fortune: that G‑d has chosen them to be His treasured nation. He again reminds them of the many miracles G‑d had performed on their behalf since they left Egypt.

This aliya contains the instruction to “circumcise the foreskin of your heart” (10:16), a rather difficult assignment considering there is no such thing. Rather, just like men are born with foreskin that needs to be removed to “complete” the Jew, here too people are born with the natural tendencies to follow their desires, and need to rein in those desires by purging our hearts of certain physical tendencies. That doesn’t mean that we need to ignore our physical desires, because the instruction is to remove the extra layer so we can get to our hearts. So the ultimate goal is to do what’s appropriate for our hearts, and the best way to do that is to remove the physical layers that might be in the way of that goal. How? The Passuk continues… “don’t be so stubborn!” Embrace change, grow, improve!