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Monday, 23 Elul 5776 / September 26, 2016

Chumash with Rashi

Chumash with Rashi

Parshat Nitzavim 

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Deuteronomy Chapter 29

12in order to establish you this day as His people, and that He will be your God, as He spoke to you, and as He swore to your forefathers to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.   יבלְמַ֣עַן הָקִֽים־אֹֽתְךָ֩ הַיּ֨וֹם | ל֜וֹ לְעָ֗ם וְה֤וּא יִֽהְיֶה־לְּךָ֙ לֵֽאלֹהִ֔ים כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּר־לָ֑ךְ וְכַֽאֲשֶׁ֤ר נִשְׁבַּע לַֽאֲבֹתֶ֔יךָ לְאַבְרָהָ֥ם לְיִצְחָ֖ק וּלְיַֽעֲקֹֽב:
in order to establish you this day as His people: [Why does God here warn Israel against idolatry by making such grave oaths and severe curses, unlike other commandments where He would simply make a warning and attach a punishment if the commandment was transgressed?] He goes to so much trouble here, for the purpose of keeping you as His people. [Since He promised not to exchange you for another people (see the following Rashi), He must ensure your faithfulness to Him.   למען הקים אותך היום לו לעם: כל כך הוא נכנס לטרוח למען קיים אותך לפניו לעם:
and that He will be your God: Since God has given you His word and [also] sworn to your forefathers not to exchange their offspring for another nation, therefore, He [ensures your faithfulness to Him by] binding you through these oaths, so as not to provoke Him to anger, because He cannot separate Himself from you. Until here, I have explained this passage according to its simple sense. The homiletic explanation is as follows: Why is parashath Nitzavim juxtaposed to the curses [in parashath Ki Tavo]? Because when Israel heard these ninety-eight curses [delineated in Ki Tavo], besides the forty-nine [curses] stated in Leviticus (26:14-38), they turned pale, and said, “Who can possibly endure these?” [Thereupon,] Moses began to appease them [as follows]:   והוא יהיה לך לאלהים: לפי שדבר לך ונשבע לאבותיך שלא להחליף את זרעם באומה אחרת, לכך הוא אוסר אתכם בשבועות הללו, שלא תקניטוהו אחר שהוא אינו יכול להבדל מכם. עד כאן פירשתי לפי פשוטו של פרשה. ומדרש אגדה למה נסמכה פרשת אתם נצבים לקללות, לפי ששמעו ישראל מאה קללות חסר שתים, חוץ ממ"ט שבתורת כהנים, הוריקו פניהם ואמרו מי יוכל לעמוד באלו, התחיל משה לפייסם:
You are… standing this day: You have provoked the Omnipresent to anger many times, yet He has not made an end to you. Indeed, you still exist before Him [“standing… before the Lord”]. — [Tanchuma 1]   אתם נצבים היום: הרבה הכעסתם למקום ולא עשה אתכם כלייה והרי אתם קיימים לפניו
this day: [You exist now] Just as this day exists. For [although] it becomes dark [for a period, nevertheless] it shines [again]. So too, here, God has made light for you, and He will again make light for you in the future. And the curses and sufferings preserve you and enable you to stand before Him [the curses, by preventing you to stray from serving Him, and the sufferings, by cleansing you of your sins]. Similarly, in the previous parashah [of Ki Tavo, Moses spoke] words of conciliation, [e.g.,] “You have seen all that the Lord did…” (Deut. 29:1). Another explanation of…   היום: כיום הזה שהוא קיים והוא מאפיל ומאיר, כך האיר לכם וכך עתיד להאיר לכם, והקללות והיסורין מקיימין אתכם ומציבין אתכם לפניו. ואף הפרשה שלמעלה מזו פיוסין הם, אתם ראיתם את כל אשר עשה. דבר אחר,:
You are… standing: Because the Israelites were now passing from one leader to the next-i.e., from [the leadership of] Moses to [that of] Joshua. Therefore, Moses made them stand [in assembled ranks], in order to encourage them. Joshua did the same [when he was about to die (Josh. 24:1)]. Also, Samuel [did likewise], when Israel passed from his leadership to that of Saul, [as the verse says,] “Stand now, and I will reason with you before the Lord…” (I Sam. 12:7). - [Tanchuma 1]   אתם נצבים: לפי שהיו ישראל יוצאין מפרנס לפרנס ממשה ליהושע, לפיכך עשה אותם מצבה כדי לזרזם וכן עשה יהושע וכן שמואל (שמואל א' יב, ז) התיצבו ואשפטה אתכם, כשיצאו מידו ונכנסו לידו של שאול:
13But not only with you am I making this covenant and this oath,   יגוְלֹ֥א אִתְּכֶ֖ם לְבַדְּכֶ֑ם אָֽנֹכִ֗י כֹּרֵת֙ אֶת־הַבְּרִ֣ית הַזֹּ֔את וְאֶת־הָֽאָלָ֖ה הַזֹּֽאת:
14but with those standing here with us today before the Lord, our God, and [also] with those who are not here with us, this day.   ידכִּי֩ אֶת־אֲשֶׁ֨ר יֶשְׁנ֜וֹ פֹּ֗ה עִמָּ֨נוּ֙ עֹמֵ֣ד הַיּ֔וֹם לִפְנֵ֖י יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ וְאֵ֨ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵינֶ֛נּוּ פֹּ֖ה עִמָּ֥נוּ הַיּֽוֹם:
and [also] with those who are not here: also with future generations. — [Tanchuma 3]   ואת אשר איננו פה: ואף עם דורות העתידים להיות:
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