Below is a collection of Parashat Ekev resources created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.

This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at if you didn’t find what you’re looking for. 


Question #1: Moses tells the people how they received manna – a special miraculous food from God – during their journey in the desert and describes it as a test. Why would getting food from God almost every day (except Shabbat) be considered a “test”? How do you understand the statement that “man doesn’t live by bread alone”?

Look inside the text (Devarim 8:2-3),

 וְזָכַרְתָּ אֶת כָּל הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הוֹלִיכֲךָ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ זֶה אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בַּמִּדְבָּר לְמַעַן עַנֹּתְךָ לְנַסֹּתְךָ לָדַעַת אֶת אֲשֶׁר בִּלְבָבְךָ הֲתִשְׁמֹר (מִצְוֹתָו) [מִצְוֹתָיו] אִם לֹא – Remember the long way that God has made you travel in the wilderness these past forty years, that He might test you by hardships to learn what was in your hearts: whether you would keep His commandments or not.
 וַיְעַנְּךָ וַיַּרְעִבֶךָ וַיַּאֲכִלְךָ אֶת הַמָּן אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדַעְתָּ וְלֹא יָדְעוּן אֲבֹתֶיךָ לְמַעַן הוֹדִיעֲךָ כִּי לֹא עַל הַלֶּחֶם לְבַדּוֹ יִחְיֶה הָאָדָם כִּי עַל כָּל מוֹצָא פִי יְהוָֹה יִחְיֶה הָאָדָם – He subjected you to the hardship of hunger and then gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had ever known, in order to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but that man may live on anything that God decrees.

Question #2: Throughout Sefer Devarim, Moses reminds the Israelites of how important it is to observe the commandments. What does God expect of the Jewish people? What do you think is the difference between doing something out of a feeling of fear (or awe), or doing something out of a feeling of love? Can you share some examples? (Think about how you might obey a policeman, a teacher, a parent)

Look inside the text (Devarim 10: 12),

 וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל מָה ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֹׁאֵל מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי אִם לְיִרְאָה אֶת ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל דְּרָכָיו וּלְאַהֲבָה אֹתוֹ וְלַעֲבֹד אֶת יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשֶׁךָ – And now, Israel, what does your God demand of you? Only this: to revere God, to walk only in His paths, to love Him, and to serve God with all your heart and soul

Question #3: Can a person be commanded to love? Why or why not? The Torah commands us to love God, to love our neighbor and in this week’s parasha, even to love the stranger! What is the reason given for this commandment? What is the connection? What can you do to act lovingly towards a stranger?

Look inside the text (Devarim 10:19),

 וַאֲהַבְתֶּם אֶת הַגֵּר כִּי גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם – You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Question #4:  The Torah describes the material benefits of obeying God’s instructions together with the negative consequences of ignoring them. Given the clarity of that presentation, why is it hard for people to do the right thing?

Question #5: Are rewards and punishments meted out on an individual basis or on a communal-national one? Which of those seems more ethical? Which of those seems more beneficial? Why should individuals suffer because of the sins of the masses? Why should individuals benefit from the rewards of the masses?