This week we read a double portion: Nitzavim-Vayelech.

Nitzavim is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, while Vayelech is read either on the Shabbat before or after Rosh Hashanah. Either way, there must be a Rosh Hashanah lesson for us here.

Nitzavim means “standing firmly.” Vayelech means “and he went.” These seem to be opposites. Standing or going? You can’t do both, or can you? How can you stand and go at the same time?

We all serve G‑d. Our service is clearly prescribed, down to the detail. Our job is to be nitzavim—standing firm, doing each mitzvah in its perfect manner. Not to be influenced by those who say, “Lighten up, so what if you change it up a bit . . . ”

On the other hand, we don’t want to be robots, just going through the motions. That’s where vayelech comes in. Vayelech is movement and change—not in the action of the mitzvah, but in the intent. Every day, as we learn and get a deeper appreciation of G‑d, it intensifies the meaningfulness of our service to him. The mitzvah stands firm but our expression of it goes ever higher.

On Rosh Hashanah, we renew our commitment to G‑d to do His will for another year. Not just in action, but also by adding in depth.

The same idea could be seen in our personal relationships.

Sometimes, as time passes, our lives seem to be bland and repetitive. As good husbands and wives, we keep our responsibilities, standing firm. What is now needed is time to get to know your spouse better. As your appreciation for each other grows, your responsibilities will become more joyous and more meaningful.

Regularly set aside time to talk and get to know each other better. This will do wonders for your relationship.

Have a happy and sweet new year!