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NITZAVIM “You are standing”
24 SEP 2011
VAYELECH “And he went”
This week there is a double portion.
Deut 29:9-Renewal of the Covenant
29:15-Warning against Idolatry: even though people may
know right from wrong, there is a temptation to rationalize the
“enjoyment” of evil and immorality (John 1:5-22)
30:1-Eventual Repentance and Redemption: the blessings
that come with obedience to GOD and will be fulfilled in the Messianic
30:11-The Torah is Accessible
30:15-Choose Life: choose between life (repentance
leading to redemption) or death
31:1-Moses takes leave after “sealing” the covenant with
all members of the nation as he prepares to die.
Moses summons Joshua in front of all of Israel to
“transmit the covenant” to the next generation
31:9-The King reads Deuteronomy
31:15-Prophetic warning: the people will stray after
other gods. Participation with harlots will occur, or as some
translations state it, fornication.
31:17-Israel is warned that He will forsake and conceal
His face from them for a short while only.
Isaiah 40:1-comfort, comfort My people
Isaiah 54:7-for a brief moment I forsake you
31:19-A song to remind them- as a witness against them
31:24-26-Torah to be written as a testimony, just as GOD
commanded Moses and Joshua
Times would come when the words of the Torah would be
forsaken and the peoples would be drawn after the cultures of the
surrounding societies, but the written Torah would remain as a constant
reminder of Israel’s roots and the unchanging focus of its devotion.
Every seventh year, the law is to be read at the end of the Sabbatical
Year-BY THE KING.
31:20-30-Warnings NOT to rebel against GOD
In Deut. Chap.31:19-30; GOD gave Moses this song to teach
the people so that so that they would learn to love and obey Him.
This week we have a double portion for this Shabbat
reading. In the plains of Moab, Moshe has gathered together the
children of Israel from the least to the greatest (Deut 29:9-12). “You
are standing today, all of you, before HaShem, your GOD. The heads of
your tribes, your elders and officers, all the men of Israel; your small
children, your women, and your proselyte who is in the midst of your
camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water, in order
to establish you today as a people to Him and that He be a GOD to you….”
GOD is telling us that He has established a relationship,
a covenant, with us. At this time of year, we are given a time of deep
introspection. We think about where we stand with HaShem, with our
family and our neighbors.
With the High Holy Days in mind, let the Scriptures
speak! “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm!” (Joel 2:1). Rend
your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your GOD, for
He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in
This should be a time of reflection in knowing that we
have to be aware that our time here could be taken at any moment
(Ecclesiastes 9:12). We must come to HaShem now. This time and season
tells us to rend our heart and come to Him who loves us and cares for
us. This is not only for us who are called by His name but also the
entire world (John 3:16).
At this time we need to come to Him and declare total
devotion to love GOD with all of our hearts. We must share the love of
HaShem, (love our neighbors) and share His light (1John 1:5). We should
invite those that GOD brings to us and who have a true, searching and
caring heart, to His banquet (Luke 14:12-15).
During this time of introspection and promise, let us
pray for ourselves and for one another. Our nation needs to turn back
to GOD (Teshuvah). We need to share love and kindness with those HaShem
brings across our path. Our desire is that this coming “Yom Teruah
(Rosh Hashanah) would be a time of deep reflection and of showing
sincere love and care for all.
Shavua Tov and L’Shanah Tova
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