Parshas Nitzavim-Summary of the Parsha

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Parshas Nitzavim

Pesukim: 40 [Siman:לבבו]

Haftorah: Yeshayahu 61:10-63:9

Number of Mitzvos:

There are no Mitzvos in Parshas Nitzavim.

The Parsha Theme:

Moshe enters the Jewish people into a covenant with G-d and warns them of the dangers of getting involved in sinful behavior.

 

Rishon

  1. The covenant:
    • All the Jewish people are present: [Moshe gathered the Jewish people before Hashem on the day of his passing and told them] You are all standing before Hashem today to pass into a covenant of Hashem and His oath. All the Jewish people are here including your heads, tribes, elders, officers, children, wives, converts, wood choppers and water carriers, in order to enter the covenant that Hashem will make with you today.

 

Sheiyni

  • Purpose of the covenant: The purpose of the covenant is for you to become Hashem’s nation and Hashem become your G-d as he promised your forefathers, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.
  • Applicable forever: The covenant and oath are binding and applicable not just to those present, but for all future generations, even those not here today.

 

Shelishi

  1. Moshe warns Bnei Yisrael against breaking the covenant:
    • [Moshe said to the nation:] “You know what it was like to live amongst the Egyptians, and you passed through other nations [and saw their ways of living]. You saw their abominations, and detestable idols of wood, stone, silver and gold.”
    • A warning for the careless sinner: “Perhaps you have amongst you today a man or woman, family or tribe, whose heart swerves from Hashem and desires to go serve the idols of the gentiles. Perhaps you have a miscreant growing amongst you who even after hearing these words will say to himself that he can do whatever his heart desires and peace will remain upon him. So, I tell him today, no, I will add to your punishment. Hashem will not forgive him, and His wrath and vengeance will smoke against the man, and all of the oaths written in this book will befall him. Hashem will obliterate his name from under the heavens. He will be set aside from all of Israel for evil and will receive all the curses written in this book.”
    • The curses for not obeying the covenant: Your children and the nations who visit the land will see that the land is plagued and affected with illnesses by Hashem. The earth will be scorched with sulphur and salt and will not be able to be sowed or grow produce, just as occurred with Sodom and Gomorrah, Adma and Tzevoim which Hashem overturned in His anger. All the nations will ask why Hashem destroyed the earth with such anger and they will be told it is because the Jewish people left the covenant Hashem made with their ancestors when He took them out of Egypt. They went and served foreign gods, and therefore He went and brought upon them the curses written in this Sefer. Hashem will throw them off their land in anger and fury and displace them into foreign territory.
    • The hidden is to Hashem while the revealed is to man and his descendants forever, to perform this Torah.

Revi’i (Shelishi when combined with Vayeilech)

  1. Hashem comforts Bnei Yisrael that He will return them from exile:
  • Bnei Yisrael will do Teshuvah: “After experiencing all the blessings and curses you will take to heart all that has happened and return to Hashem and follow His will with all your heart and soul.”
  • Kibutz Galiyos: “Hashem will then have mercy on you and return you from the exiles, gathering you from all the nations to which you were dispersed. Even if you were dispersed to the end of the heavens, He will gather you and take you from there. He will bring you back to Eretz Yisrael, to the land your ancestors inherited, and you shall inherit it.”
  • The blessings upon the return from exile: “Hashem will benefit you and make you multiply more than your forefathers. Hashem will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so you can love Him with all your heart and soul.”

 

Chamishi (Shelishi when combined with Vayeilech)

  • The curses that will befall our enemies: Hashem will place all the curses of this book onto your enemies who pursued you.
  • More blessings: “You will repent and listen to the voice of Hashem and perform all of his commands. Hashem will make you successful in all your activities, in having children and cattle, and produce. Hashem will return to rejoice in you for good, just as He rejoiced with your forefathers.”

 

Shishi

  1. Hashem encourages Bnei Yisrael to keep the Mitzvos:
    • “The Torah and Mitzvos are not distanced from you. It is not in the Heavens or across the sea that you need to ask someone to reach there to bring it to you. The Torah is very close to you, to your lips and to your heart to perform it.”

Shevi’i (Revi’i when combined with Vayeilech)

  • Freedom of choice to choose life or death: “Hashem has given you today [the choice between] good and life and evil and death. If you choose to love Him and follow His will and guard His Mitzvos then you will live and receive His blessings. But, if you lead your heart astray and disobey His commands and serve idolatry, you shall know now that you will be eradicated. You will not last long on the land of inheritance. I call the heaven and earth to witness today that I have given you the path of life and death, blessing and curse, and I instruct you to choose life, so you and your descendants shall live.”

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