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“And it shall be because you will listen to these laws.” (7:12)

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  Rashi explains the word ceg as referring to those mitzvos on which one tramples with his heels WYBQE (ie. which one treats lightly). The word eikev, which means “heel”, is analogously used here to apply to those mitzvos to which one’s attitude is at best complacent. The Torah is warning us to take heed with regard to these mitzvos and apply ourselves properly to their performance. Rabbi Eliezer Gordon Zt”l employs the word “eikev” in a somewhat different manner. When one performs a mitzvah publicly or in association with others, the outcome of this action, is in reality, two mitzvos. There is the performance of Hashem’s Will, which is the foundation of all mitzvos, and there is the impression which is left on others. This, he states, is vumnv ceg (the offshoot, or outgrowth resulting from the performance of this mitzvah). This can be likened to one who awakens early in the morning to study. He will surely receive his due reward for this deed. However, if he studies with another fellow, then his “mitzvah” is two-fold; not only does he study, but he causes another person to do the same. For if he would not continue his participation in this daily study session then his partner would also be lax in his observance. The Torah wants us to be cognizant of the effect and the ensuing results our performance of mitzvos have on others.

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