THEMES of Featured Ascent Lights

To the Very End
Mitzvot must be performed with utmost enthusiasm to achieve their end.
The name of the parasha, Eikev, has two meanings: "since" or "heel" - implying the end of something, like the heel of a person's foot. The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains the connection of these two meanings. We must actualize the cause, i.e. keep the mitzvot, in order to bring about the effect - G-d's providing for our needs.
Evening Eating
Evening does not have the spiritual power of the day, so then it becomes easier for a person to turn towards impure thoughts.
Judaism’s attitude about eating is seen in almost exactly the same light as any other commandment. Just as there are divine sparks that are "food for our soul" in each action of tefillin, Shabbat or honoring a parent through which we attach ourselves to G-d, even more so are there divine sparks in food.
The Spirituality of Eating
Kabbalah teaches that eating is also spiritual.
The body is nourished by the physical aspects contained in the foods we eat; the soul is nourished by the spiritual power, or sparks of holiness, which enliven the physical substance of all matter.
Don't Tread On Me
Mashiach's arrival will be hastened because of the great self sacrifice required of us.
"And behold, following (in Hebrew, "ekev") the edicts which you heard..."

Rashi explains that the word "ekev" literally means "heel". It is our job to be careful with all of the mitzvahs, even the easy ones, so that our whole bodies - from head to heel - are serving G-d.
Bentching vs. Hatikva; Torah vs. the UN
It is necessary not only to thank G-d for the beautiful land itself, but we also must articulate the source for our rights for this land: the Abrahamic Covenant and the Torah.
A Tribute to Wine
Of the five fruits for which the Land of Israel is praised in the Torah, only grapes can be processed in such a way that their "status" increases. 
Each life is a priceless vessel into which is poured a soul that is grape juice fermenting into wine. No two lives are alike. Each possesses an absolutely unique capacity to know G-d and celebrate the love.
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