The portion of Ekev starts off with “If only you listen..” The first word Vhayah (VHYH) is an obvious permutation of the Tetragrammaton YHVH, and the second word Ekev of numerical value 172 is the also the word for heel, which the sages equate with the heel of Adam, which is what they say our generation is, the lowest of them all spiritually. Yet 172 is only 1 away from 173, the small gematria value of the 42-Letter Name of G-d, which was the seed of all Creation.
So as lowly as we are, we are closer than any previous generation (except the one at Mt. Sinai that blew their opportunity) to returning to Creation and the Tree-of-Life reality.
So, yes, if only we listen.
Devarim 7:13 “He will  love you,  bless you, and  make you numerous. He will  bless the fruit of your womb,  the fruit of your land,  your grain,  your wine,  your oil,  the calves of your herds, and  the lambs of your flocks…”
In the very next verse, Devarim 7:13, we are given 10 blessings, split into the upper 3 and then the 7 lower ones, just like the 3 and 7 structures of the Tree-of-Life. Once again, Moses is trying to strengthen our connection to the Tree-of-Life and show us the blessings that will come from it—if only we’d listen.
To that end we need to start listening with our hearts. The numerical value of heart, lev (LB) in Hebrew, is 32 and all 32 Paths of Wisdom flow through the heart. The only truth is actually found in our hearts, no matter how great a wisdom we find in our heads.
Why then is there so much wisdom revealed through the Torah, because the Torah is the heart. It begins with the letter bet (B) and ends with the letter lamed (L), or lev (LB) backwards. It is a channel to and though our own hearts.
But the Torah cannot do it for us. We must speak to the world through our hearts and listen to it through our hearts. A secret that should not be as deep as it is, is that abundance flows through the heart. If you are not living up to your potential and most of us are not, it is not because we aren’t working hard or smart enough, it is because we are speaking with our mouths and not our hearts.
Our hearts are the gatekeepers of what we project. You can have it all thought out and say all the right things, but people hear only what’s being silently projected from your heart.
For many of us it is a very difficult thing to wrap ourselves around, because we’ve long ago centered our hearts in our heads and though we know we love someone or care about them and may show it (at least in our minds, but also demonstratively) other people can’t see it, hear it or feel it, because those hearts in our heads are illusions (virtual hearts); the real ones in our chests are sitting there silently, snoozing, waiting to be called upon. And when we do, they will open the gates for us, and people will begin to hear us, some for the first time. The universe will hear us to.
And once that gate is open, it swings both ways, and we can then start to actually receive.
So now that we know the channel through which G-d gives to us—through our hearts—it’s obvious that no matter how hard we try in life, and how many times we plead with G-d to help us, with or without the proper spiritual tools, He can’t if our hearts are closed.
How do we know if they’re closed? Believe me, you know when they are open: you see things totally differently, with joy; you see people as opportunities to help and share with; you see people reacting positively to you; you hear the messages clearly without veils; you see your own garbage (blockages) and you see how to rid them; and you see things flowing freely and working out for you.
We get messages all day long, but when we open our hearts, they come to us from the right place and we can hear them clearer, which means everyone becomes our teacher and we have the chance to learn and grow all day long.
Our minds can only get us so far. Sure, without them, without our intellectual prowess and curiosity we’d still be asleep within the world of illusion and never be in the position to recognize that there was a Tree-of-Life reality out there, waiting to welcome us. But to reach it, to take us the rest of the way in the final years, we’ll need our hearts. Sure, there are 10 sefirot within the Tree-of-Life, but there are 32 paths between them, and the only way to climb them is along the paths.
You have often heard me quote Hillel in our articles, how it and the Torah all boils down to one verse, Vayikra 19:18, “You must love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.” Pretty simple, right? So how come so few of us live like that?
If it had only said, “As you love your neighbor, you will be loved,” things would be different because we understand cause and effect. That’s something the head can grasp easily. Loving thy neighbor—that’s thinking with the heart.
If does mean “As you love your neighbor, you will be loved,” and what you give from your heart will come back to you, and what you don’t give will also come back to you; and what you do unto others, will be done to you, it’s true, and if we live our lives knowing that and acting accordingly we’ll have much better lives, but G-d didn’t want it to be so easy.
He didn’t want it to be so hard either—He didn’t want it to be hard at all—but He wanted us to grasp the concept in our hearts, not our heads. So the secret is out: start living your life knowing that “As you love your neighbor, you will be loved,” but don’t forget to start channeling everything through your heart, the one in your chest.
Though it’s easier than you think, it takes a lot of effort to shift our mindsets from our heads to our hearts, but we must do it and we must help one another to—it’s our responsibility. Write in with your comments and/or contact me on facebook if you want help, or want to help me. We are all each other’s teachers and all part of the same soul, that of the heel of Adam.
Your friend, brother, and student