“Hey, David! Come on in.”

“NO-O-O! The water is too cold.”

“Just jump in. You’ll get used to it right away.”

David was not convinced. He stood at the edge of the pool and watched his friends swim. Gingerly, he dipped his foot into the water and swished it about.

“See, David. It’s not so bad after all.”

David didn’t think so. He shook his head and turned to Heshy, who was standing nearby. “No way!” he said. “I can feel how cold this water is even in the heel of my foot.”

Do you do the same thing before jumping into a pool? Do you test the water with your feet first? Why is it easier to put our feet into cold water?

Simple. The bottoms of our feet are not as sensitive to the cold as the other parts of our body. They can bear the cold.

But that’s only one way of explaining it. There’s another way to understand why this happens.

Our brain tells us to move our hands, our feet, and the rest of our body. It sends out messages and instructions, and our body responds.

Now let’s go back to David at the pool. His brain said: “Go ahead. Take a plunge. You’ll soon get over the cold and have a lot of fun with your friends.” Most of his body didn’t want to listen, but he was able to put his foot in. The foot is farthest away from the brain, but it is the most ready to respond to its instructions. Of all the parts of our body, our feet do what we want most willingly.

Eikev, the name of our parshah, means “heel.” The parshah tells us that HaShem will give us great blessings when we keep His mitzvos as eagerly as the heels of our feet follow our brain’s instructions.

We are living in ikvesa diMeshicha, “ the time when we can hear the footsteps of Mashiach approaching.” The word ikvesa comes from the word eikev. Our generation was selected to greet Mashiach. Like the heels of our feet, we are eager to do everything HaShem wants.

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IX, Parshas Eikev)