Parshat Eikev: Heeling Words

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Shoe heel
19 Aug 2008
Arts & Media

Tread carefully…


This is hallowed ground on which

You walk

Sacred parchment on which

You run

Sanctified clouds on which

You fly

Blessed waters on which

You float

Small, fragile thing, tender at the

Bone and everywhere else too, soft

As a shudder, artless as sincerity,

Innocent by nature, shy by nurture.


Like a quiet child in a room full of

Boisterous adults, easily overlooked;

Like a young, sweet flower growing


Out a crack of seasoned city asphalt,

Easily trampled.


Tread very, very carefully.


But some don’t think

Don’t think so:


They walk all over it, talk all over it,

Crawl all over it, pour all over it, run

All over it – Get over it, they say –

After all:


Small fragility is inconsequential when

Compared to the big sturdiness of global,

Universal issues – hey, it matters less what

Is underfoot than what is overhead – why

Worry on what your heel treads when your

Mind is in all the right places – big ideas are the

Sun to small trivialities’ pliable, waxy candle!


The game may be afoot, they say,

But the player is ahead!


And they would be right, if we were talking

About those superimposed things in life, which

Are less super, more imposed – you know, those

External nuances necessary for a soul to exist in a

Physical universe but not necessary for a soul to

Exist. Period.



But we talk not of external things, but of internal,

Eternal things; we speak not of the barrel but of

The potent wine it contains; we paint not the

Expression but the essence it expresses –

And regarding essence…


And it will be

Because you hearken

These ordinances


Ordinances; what is an ordinance?

What to heed; what to hearken?


For many, I’m sure, an ordinance is

A rule, a regulation, what they would

Probably call a restriction.


But what if an ordinance is a connection,

A way to touch something divine, a way

To touch our souls, our essence – would

That be restricting or liberating? Would

That be called an ordinance or an



And when talking about connections,

Touching something eternal, real, true,

Does a small, fragile thing connect any

Less than a big, brawny thing, does a

Simpleton’s kind word touch heaven

Any less than the ingenious works of a

Brilliant scholar dripping with profundity?


When is a connection, a relationship more

Genuine: when one connects with big things

That receive plaques and recognition or when

One connects (also) with the small things that

May go unrecognized to the world at large but

Which make all the difference to the one you

Connect with, the one you love?


To think big is (sometimes) easy; to do all the little

Things to get to that big place, not so much.


Eikev – many translations:





It will be the ultimate reward of finding the essence

Because you connect (also) to and with the small things.


Tread carefully: sometimes it is the little things which


The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.