It was the last day of camp. Campers and counselors were busy packing up and getting ready to load the buses. In bunk five, Chayah and Malkie had finished packing and had gone to sit by the site of the last night’s bonfire.

“I’m sorry camp is over,” sighed Malkie.

“It’s been great,” said Chayah. “I can’t believe we just met eight weeks ago. It feels like we’ve been friends for years.”

Malkie nodded. “I wish I lived closer to you, Chayah. Florida is so far away. But I’ll keep thinking about you.”

“You know what, Malkie,” suggested Chayah. “Let’s make a friendship promise.”

“What do you mean?” asked Malkie.

“Well,” replied Chayah. “Now we really feel like close friends. But when we go home it might be different. I’m going back to Chicago to my family, other friends and then to school. And so are you. We will be busy with other things, and may forget what good friends we are. So let’s promise each other that our friendship will remain as close as we feel now.”

Malkie liked the idea. Later, she found out that in parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us about a treaty between HaShem and B’nei Yisrael which reminded her of her friendship promise with Chayah.

The Torah says: “Today, you are all standing together.” The Torah describes all of B’nei Yisrael standing together before HaShem. Everyone, from the most important people to the simple folk — men, women and children.

Our Rabbis teach us that the word “today” is talking about Rosh HaShanah. B’nei Yisrael stood before HaShem then, just as we stand before Him on Rosh HaShanah, pronouncing Him King of the universe.

HaShem said to B’nei Yisrael: “I am making a treaty with you today. You are My people and I am your G‑d — for all generations to come.”

But why a treaty? On Rosh HaShanah we feel so close to HaShem — why do we need to promise that we will always feel connected to Him and fulfill His will?

HaShem wants the feelings we have on Rosh HaShanah to continue all year long, wherever we may be and whatever we may be doing. This treaty, like Malkie and Chayah’s friendship promise, helps make those strong feelings a part of our daily life.

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. II, p. 398ff)