A common cause for the ailments of the feet is poor circulation.
The foot is the part of the body furthest from the heart;
thus, the feet are often the first to suffer from inadequate
blood supply due to circulatory problems, especially in its
smaller veins and capillaries.
This physical phenomenon also has its counterpart in the
spiritual life of man, which depends on the lifeblood of the
soulthe Torah and its mitzvotfor its vitality
The Torah section of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25),
opens with the words, And it shall come to pass, because
you heed these laws and keep them and observe them...
The word eikev (because), which gives the
section its name, is an uncommon term in the Hebrew language, prompting a number of homiletic interpretations
by our sages. One of these makes the correlation of eikev
and akeiv (heel)the two words have
the identical Hebrew spellingexplaining that the verse
is alluding to those mitzvot which a person tramples
under his heels.
Often we tend to distinguish between important
mitzvot and lesser mitzvot. The same person who
is outraged by an act of thievery or adultery, who wouldnt
think of eating pork or violating Shabbat, might casually
transgress the prohibition against lashon hara (speaking
ill of another). But a mitzvah is a divine commandment, an
expression of the will of G-d; the human mind can hardly appraise
a mitzvahs true impact on his own life, much less its
quintessential worth. So the ultimate test of a persons
commitment to G-d is to be found in those mitzvot which people
trample under their heels. Is his observance of the
mitzvot contingent upon his subjective appreciation of their
social and spiritual utility, in which case he will inevitably
discriminate between greater and lesser
mitzvot, or has he indeed subjugated himself to the divine
will, in which case he fulfills every divine command with
equal joy and veneration?
When a souls heartits commitment and bond to
its Creatoris hale and fit, the distant heel also receives
an adequate blood supply, and glows with the warmth
and vivacity that are the hallmarks of spiritual life.
Based on a letter by the Rebbe dated Sivan 19, 5717 (June
Based on the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber
. Eikev, in the sense of because,
appears only thirteen times in the Bible (it appears twice
more in the sense of completely). In contrast,
ki and kaasher, the other Hebrew terms
for because, each appear hundreds of times.
. Rashi on verse; see Talmud, Avodah Zarah 18a.
. Igrot Kodesh, vol XV, p. 213