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There are two depictions of Eretz Yisrael in the Sidra. The First is 8:7-9
For the L-rd your G-D brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; . A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil, and honey; A land where you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig bronze.
The second is found later 11:10-12
For the land, which you enter to possess, is not as the land of Egypt, from where you came out, where you sowed your seed, and watered it with your foot, as a garden of vegetables; . But the land, which you are going over to possess, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinks water from the rain of the skies; . A land which the L-rd your G-D cares for; the eyes of the L-rd your G-D are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year
Now these descriptions do not necessarily contradict but are very different. From Chapter 8 the emphasis is on Israel’s physical attributes. The seven types foods listed in sentence 8 are known as the fruits for which the Land Land of Israel is renown. Whereas the description in chapter 11 is more spiritual in nature. What is G-D trying to teach?
Rabbi Naftali Zvi Berlin ZT’L ZY’A in Hamek Davar casts 8::7-9 in a larger context to “ . . . [E}stablish as a principle of faith that within our hearts that it is through the words of our lips that receives sustenance even the Land of Israel which receives its nourishment through the sacrificial service even so there is a positive commandment to recite the grace after meals as required by 8:10. A person through acknowledging G-D by prayer extends the blessed acquired through the Temple service and releases the latent holiness within that particular food.
The Land of Israel is G-D’s primary concern though concerned about the welfare of all creation but that concern is secondary to the Land of Israel’s status .explains Rashi ZT’L ZY’A. The Ohr HaChaim ZTVK’L ZY’A adds the land enjoys its elevated status when Israel is not in exile. However when Jewry is in exile the Land of Israel is not as exalted. The Ohr HaChaim’s observation fits nicely with Rashi’s comments on Devarim 33:19 D’H Shafuni through their business contacts gentiles would come to Israel for commerce and become so inspired by the nation’s unity in worship and that unity extending to everyday matters like food. These Gentile tourists would continue until Jerusalem and be inspired to accept Judaism
In light of Rashi’s comments to 33:19 quoted above the two descriptions given for the Land of Israel found in Eikev can be understood. 11:10-12 refers to someone at the beginning of a }relationship where every nuance is noticed and appreciated. Whereas 8: 7-9 is speaking to one who deals with everyday life in Israel. When engaged in the everyday one can loose perspective as to how truly awesome one’s surroundings are. 8: 7-9 comes to remind and reenforce what one already knows. By reciting blessings over one’s food one inserts G-D’s compassionate sovereignty in to one’s consciousness. Through reciting prayers and blessings one’s relationship to G-D can remain a dynamic and vibrant congregation.