Saturday, September 16, 2006

"Parshat Nitzavim-Vayeilech!" Stand Up Straight, Tall and Proud

I usually write my Parshat Shavua in me-ander, but this, even the pshat, the simple text, has such an important political message.

The Jewish Year is ending, less than a week to go. Next Shabbat will already be Rosh Hashannah, the Holiday of the Beginning of the New Year. Our Biblical readings, Parshot Hashavua, are also coming to their annual close. Moshe's reign is about to end, and he is giving his final instructions to the Jewish People.

Today we read the double Parsha (Portion), Parshat Nitzavim-Vayeilech. They are in Dvarim, Deuteronomy, 29, 9 until 31, 30.

It begins:
29:9 Ye are standing this day all of you before the Lord your God: your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel,

Actually, we should remember that we are always before G-d, whether standing, sitting, awake or asleep. G-d sees everything we do and knows our thoughts.

As I was reading the Parsha as the Torah was read, I found words that expressed so much of what is important for our survival:
31:6 Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them; for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.'

This is the message I have been trying to pass on. We have G-d on our side. That is what is written here. With G-d on our side we don't need the United States, the United Nations, Europe, anyone else! We just must live according to G-d's instructions.

This week in Israel, the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was sworn in. The Israeli Supreme Court, especially under Aharon Barak made laws according to his "revolutionary principles" rather than Israeli Law.

Back to the Parsha...
Moshe prepared the people to accept Joshua as his successor:
31:7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel: 'Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt go with this people into the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.

31:8 And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear not, neither be dismayed.'

and then...:
30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil,

30:16 in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances; then thou shalt live and multiply, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.

30:17 But if thy heart turn away, and thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

30:18 I declare unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish; ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over the Jordan to go in to possess it.

30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;

30:20 to love the Lord thy God, to hearken to His voice, and to cleave unto Him; for that is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Shavua Tov
Shannah Tovah
Gmar Chatimah Tovah

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