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Parshas Nitzavim

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Parshas Nitzavim
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Revach L'Neshama

Parshas Nitzavim-VaYeilech: One Parsha Or Two?

The Rishonim give a Siman to know when we read Parshas Nitzavim - VaYelech as 2 separate Parshios and when it is read together as one. "Bag HaMelech Pas VaYelech" (Daniel 1:5) - When Rosh Hashanah (which is known as HaMelech - because we start saying HaMelech HaKadosh in Shmoneh Esreh) falls on Bag - Bais or Gimmel - Monday or Tuesday, then Pas VaYelech - VaYelech is broken off in to a separate Parsha. Pas comes from the words "Pasos Oso Pisim" - that a Korban Micha must be broken in to pieces. When Rosh Hashanah starts on Monday or Tuesday, there are 2 Shabbosos (where we Lain a regular Sedra) between Rosh Hashanah and Sukkos. The Shabbos between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we read Parshas VaYelech, and on the Shabbos between Yom Kippur and Sukkos we read Haazinu.

Coming Back Home To Eretz Yisroel... When?

"ViShav Hashem Elokecha Es Shvuscha ViRechamecha Vishav Vikibetzcha Mikal HoAmim" - "Then Hashem WILL RETURN your captivity and have mercy upon you, and he WILL RETURN and gather you from your exile among the nations." Why does the Pasuk say that Hashem "WILL RETURN" those in captivity twice? Meshech Chochmah answers, that there will be two shifts of people who are returning from exile. The first group will be those who were yearning for the holiness of Eretz Yisroel all the years in Galus. They will be the first to return. The second group will be the ones who became comfortable in the Galus. They did not miss the Kedusha of Eretz Yisroel, and will only return at a later time.

Deep Down He Is A Good Guy... Too Deep!

"Vihayah Bishomo Es Divray HaAlah HaZos Vihisbarech Bilvavo Lamor Shalom Yihyeh Li" - "And it will be when he hears the words of the oath, he will bless himself in heart, saying, "I will have peace, though I go as my heart sees fit etc" The Meforshim explain that there are people who feel that since they are fine, upstanding citizens who treat their fellow Jew with respect and kindness, this will protect them from the punishment of not being a good Jew when it comes to serving Hashem- Bain Adam LaMakom. Therefore the pasuk says, "Vihayah Bishomo Es Divray HaAlah HaZos Vihisbarech Bilvavo"- "And it will be when he hears the words of the oath, he will rely on BILVAVO- his good heart and good nature- to save him from his sins to Hashem. The pasuk continues - "Lo Yoveh Hashem Siloach Lo" - Hashem will not be willing to forgive him. His Mitzvos Bain Adam LaChavaro will not save him from his Avaros Bain Adam LaMakom.

Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsch - The People Are The Future Not The Leaders

"Atem Nitzavim Hayom Kulchem"; you are all standing today. Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsh says that Nitzavim is from the word Matzeiva a monument, a pillar. In his last speech to Bnei Yisroel, Moshe tells them you are the foundation, the force, the future, and the eternal carriers of the flame of Torah and the banner of Hashem. I am merely a leader that will pass on and move into the annals of history. All the leaders that follow me will meet the same end.

The rise and fall of the Jews rests on your shoulders and the shoulders of your children in every generation. For Klal Yisroel to exist and to thrive, you the ordinary people that must carry on as loyal flag bearers since in you lies the strength of Am Yisroel.

The Netziv - Life Is Not That Bad

After all the Klalos in Parshas Ki Savo, Moshe Rabbeinu calls together Bnei Yisroel and starts telling them about Paroh and Mitzrayim and all the great miracles that took place in the Midbar. Why? The Netziv answers that after hearing all the Klalos the Bnei Yisroel were skeptical about their chances for survival. Moshe therefore shows them that after they left Mitzrayim they were supposed to go straight to Eretz Yisroel, yet their aveiros caused them to receive a 40 year wandering sentence before being admitted to Eretz Yisroel. Nevertheless not only did they survive they flourished.

Had they gone straight to Eretz Yisroel in the first place they would not have gotten the land of Sichon and Og. Even their existence during this long punishment was quite pleasant. Hashem brought them food in miraculous fashion. Hashem clothed them through miracles, yet in a more discreet way.

Moshe reminds us that Hashem has many ways to care for us in Galus and at the end we will benefit from the experience. This encouragement climaxes with "Atem Nitzavim Lifnei Hashem Elokeichem"; despite the years of galus and distance from Hashem still admits us into His presence. Baruch Hashem with all the hardships from the entire year we stand on the doorstep of Rosh Hashana and thank Hashem that with His kindness and miracles, big and small we have made it through another year; still standing!

Haftorah Nitzavim: Too Beautiful For Explanations

This is the last week of the Shiva D'Nechamta the seven consecutive haftoros from Yeshaya where Hashem consoles Bnei Yisroel and foretells of the final Geula. The story line is the same so not much news to report on that front. Nor will we go into details about specific peirushim on a pasuk. The promises are so beautiful that even our generation which thrives on the sound bite can have a field day just getting inspired by the plain meaning of the pasukim. Below are some excerpts with loose translations from the Haftorah.

61:10 Sos Asis BaHashem... KeChoson Yichahen Pe'er V'Kachala Ta'adeh Keilehah; I will rejoice in Hashem ...who in the time of the Geula will dress me like in the beautiful dress of a Choson and adorn me like a Kallah with jewelry.

62:1 Lma'an Tzion Lo Achesheh U'Lma'an Yerushalayim Lo Eshkoit Ad Yeitzei Kanoga Tzidka V'Yshuasa K'Lapid Yiv'ar; For the sake of Tzion I will not be silent and for the sake of Yerushalayim I will not be still until my kindness (that I do for her) will shine throughout the world like a burning flame.

62:10 Ivru Ivru Ba'Sheairim Panu Derech Soilu Soilu HaMesila Saklu Mei'Even Heiremu Neis Al Ha'Amim; To the nations of the world "Go out to the fields and clear a path, pave the roads, remove the stones, wave a flag telling all the nations to take the Bnei Yisroel back to their homeland.

63:9 B'Chol Tzorusom Lo Tzur U'Malach Panav Hoshium B'Ahavosoi U'Bichemlosoi Hu Ga'alam; In all their pain throughout the bitter galus I suffered with them. I sent a Malach to always protect them. Because of my love and pity for them I redeemed them.

We should all be zocheh to witness the final redemption in the upcoming year.

Kesiva V'Chasima Tova!

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