V’haya Im Shamoa וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ

(Deut. 11:13-21) Interpretive translation by Rabbi Dina-Hasida Mercy

If you listen, really listen to the words of teaching that I give you this day: That is: to love God and serve God wholeheartedly, Then the difficulties of this life will seem less harsh, because God’s presence will guide you. Be careful not to think that your accomplishments are yours alone, rather remember that it is God’s grace that empowers you.

Know that you are part of the cycles of this life, that what you do will come back to you:

That if you do not love yourself, the world will appear loveless; That if you do not respect the godliness in others, God’s presence will not be apparent to you; That if you do not recognize God as the source of your strength, your strength may sometimes fail you;

That if you put toxins into your air, earth, and water, they will reappear as poisons in your food.

Remember that these consequences result from losing touch with your God, therefore you must concentrate on keeping God ever-present in your life. One way that you can do this is by keeping that God-connection close, close to your heart and to your eyes, so that you experience the world from a place of holiness. Put symbols of holiness on your hands, in order to remember that your hands do good work, that is God’s work. See God reflected in all the doings and beings of your life. See God reflected in your children and teach them this way of living.

Work hard on this connectedness, knowing that it will not be easy, but knowing that it could give you peace of mind.

Then with God’s help may you live contentedly here, on this planet that God gives you, for as long as the heavens are above the earth.