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Torah Reading for Nitzavim

Torah Reading for Nitzavim

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Parshat Nitzavim
Shabbat, 28 Elul, 5776
1 October, 2016
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1st Portion: (Deuteronomy 29:9-11)
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Deuteronomy Chapter 29

9You are all standing this day before the Lord, your God the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel,   טאַתֶּ֨ם נִצָּבִ֤ים הַיּוֹם֙ כֻּלְּכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֑ם רָֽאשֵׁיכֶ֣ם שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֗ם זִקְנֵיכֶם֙ וְשֹׁ֣טְרֵיכֶ֔ם כֹּ֖ל אִ֥ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
You are all standing: [The verse says “this day,” which] teaches us that on the day of his death, Moses assembled Israel in the presence of the Holy One, Blessed is He, to bring them into [His] covenant.   אתם נצבים: מלמד שכנסם משה לפני הקב"ה ביום מותו להכניסם בברית:
the leaders of your tribes: Heb. רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם, [lit., “your leaders, your tribes,” referring to two separate entities, which does not make sense here because “your tribes” includes the leaders. Rather, this means here:] “The leaders of your tribes.”   ראשיכם שבטיכם: ראשיכם לשבטיכם:
your elders and your officers: [We learn from the order in this verse that] the more distinguished ones were mentioned first, and after this: “every man of Israel.”   זקניכם ושטריכם: החשוב חשוב קודם ואחר כך כל איש ישראל:
10your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp both your woodcutters and your water drawers,   יטַפְּכֶ֣ם נְשֵׁיכֶ֔ם וְגֵ֣רְךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּקֶ֣רֶב מַֽחֲנֶ֑יךָ מֵֽחֹטֵ֣ב עֵצֶ֔יךָ עַ֖ד שֹׁאֵ֥ב מֵימֶֽיךָ:
both your woodcutters [and your water drawers]: [The mention of these people separate to the main community of Israel] teaches us that in the days of Moses, Canaanites came to convert [to Judaism], just as the Gibeonites came [to convert] in the days of Joshua. This is the meaning of the verse regarding the Gibeonites,“And they also acted cunningly…” (Josh. 9:4), [i. e., pretending that they had come from a far away country. When they were discovered, Joshua made them woodcutters and water drawers for Israel (see Josh. 9:3-27). Likewise here, the Canaanites attempted to deceive Moses,. but they did not succeed, and Moses did not accept them to be Jews. Rather,] Moses made them woodcutters and water drawers [i.e., slaves for Israel]. — [Tanchuma 2; Yev. 79a; see Rashi Gittin 23b]   מחטב עציך: מלמד שבאו כנענים להתגייר בימי משה, כדרך שבאו גבעונים בימי יהושע. וזהו האמור בגבעונים (יהושע ט, ד) ויעשו גם המה בערמה, ונתנם משה חוטבי עצים ושואבי מים:
11that you may enter the covenant of the Lord, your God, and His oath, which the Lord, your God, is making with you this day,   יאלְעָבְרְךָ֗ בִּבְרִ֛ית יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ וּבְאָֽלָת֑וֹ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ כֹּרֵ֥ת עִמְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם:
that you may enter: Heb. לְעָבְרְךָ‏. [Meaning,] “That you may pass through [i.e., enter] the covenant.” One should not understand this verb [to be in the causative conjugation,] to mean “to cause you to pass through,” [but rather, the verb is in the simple conjugation, and means that you yourselves will pass through]. This is similar to the expression, לַעֲשׂתְכֶם, “that you [yourselves] should do them” (Deut. 4:14).   לעברך: להיותך עובר בברית. ולא יתכן לפרשו כמו להעבירך, אלא כמו (לעיל ד, יד) לעשותכם אותם:
that you may enter into the covenant: [lit.] “that you may pass through the covenant.” This was the method of those who made covenants: They would set up a demarcation on one side and a demarcation on the other, and [the respective parties of the covenant] “passed through” between [these partitions], as the verse says, “[when] they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts” (Jer. 34:18).   לעברך בברית: דרך העברה, כך היו כורתים ברית, עושין מחיצה מכאן ומחיצה מכאן ועוברים בינתים, כמו שנאמר (ירמיה לד, יח) העגל אשר כרתו לשנים ויעברו בין בתריו:
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