The Pact

September 11, 2017 at 1:59 AM , , ,

“…..You are all Standing today before G-od, your G-od: the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp, both your woodcutters and your water drawers. So that you may enter the covenant of G-od, your G-od…” – Devarim 29:9-11

אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם וְשֹׁטְרֵיכֶם כֹּל אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל: טַפְּכֶם נְשֵׁיכֶם וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֶיךָ מֵחֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ עַד שֹׁאֵב מֵימֶיךָ: לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ… – דברים כט, ט-יא

Every single member of the Jewish people gathered to enter this covenant with G-d.

Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelech

A covenant is made when people who are now on friendly terms are concerned that at a later date, if either party discovers his fellow’s shortcomings, their relationship may later fall apart. To avoid such a scenario, they make a covenant, or pact, to remain devoted to each other forever, even if eventual discoveries or circumstances would be cause for them to lose favor in each other’s eyes.

We read the parsha of Nitzavim every year on the Shabbos preceding Rosh Hashana, because this is essentially the theme of Rosh Hashana, a renewal of this covenant of love between G-d and the Jewish people. After our heartfelt return to G-d over the month of Elul, on Rosh Hashana we capitalize on the loving environment that we’ve created. We ask G-d to enter an unconditional covenant of love with us for the future, even if our feelings of attachment may not be as strong later in the year.

This is why this covenant required the united assembly of every member of the Jewish nation, as described here by the Torah: men, women and children, from the leaders and elders to the converts, woodcutters and water drawers. For G-d’s interminable commitment to the Jewish nation, even if logic should dictate otherwise, is reciprocal. To evoke this unconditional love from G-d, we must correspondingly show our genuine devotion to each other, despite our obvious and logical differences.

-Likutei Sichos, vol. 2, pp. 399-400


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