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Nitzavim in a Nutshell

Nitzavim in a Nutshell

Deuteronomy 29:9–30:20


The Parshah of Nitzavim includes some of the most fundamental principles of the Jewish faith:

The unity of Israel: “You stand today, all of you, before the L‑rd your G‑d: your heads, your tribes, your elders, your officers, and every Israelite man; your young ones, your wives, the stranger in your gate; from your wood-hewer to your water-drawer.”

The future redemption: Moses warns of the exile and desolation of the Land that will result if Israel abandons G‑d’s laws, but then he prophesies that in the end, “You will return to the L‑rd your G‑d . . . If your outcasts shall be at the ends of the heavens, from there will the L‑rd your G‑d gather you . . . and bring you into the Land which your fathers have possessed.”

The practicality of Torah: “For the mitzvah which I command you this day, it is not beyond you, nor is it remote from you. It is not in heaven . . . It is not across the sea . . . Rather, it is very close to you, in your mouth, in your heart, that you may do it.”

Freedom of choice: “I have set before you life and goodness, and death and evil: in that I command you this day to love G‑d, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments . . . Life and death I have set before you, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life.”

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Ethan September 30, 2016

This is my Bar mitzvah parashot tomorrow (10/1/16. Thank you for the info! Reply

Anonymous new hyde park September 14, 2012

short and beautiful Love this parsha. Achdut! Shabbat Shalom! Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma September 12, 2012

Choice is an interesting question given a Promise, which G_d made, that has to do with Messianic Redemption and the lineage of the Messiah as written in The Book of Ruth, a story that is about the honey, as in friendship and love. And it's also about the sorting of the wheat from the chaff, and this has ongoing amazing metaphoric strength.

Obviously we have choice but that freedom could be, on another plane, subject to discussion, as Divine Providence, and the very notion of moving forward towards a predicted end point, and then a new beginning, augurs for a determinism. A chosen Messiah is a determinstic concept.

It's a paradox. Let us embrace the paradox and use the paradigm that opposites do fold together, and the universe is bipolar in every respect, and this infolding of opposites is about Unity. Reply

Zev Wiesenthal Hamilton, Ontario, Canada February 14, 2012

MY BAR MITZVAH thank you for explaining my bar mitzvah parsha to me because now i can find deeper meaning within its words. thank you! Reply

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