Nitzavim-2016

Nitzavim

Nitzavim | ????? | “Standing “

– Repent,O! House of Israel and House of Judah and Enter into covenant with HaShem your G-d…

Individual Teshuvah refers to a person repenting according to the established ways of repentance, each at his own level, “but general teshuvah refers to all Israel returning to the Lord our G-d, to the land promised to our ancestors.

The Tzaddik is … “one who gives freely and generously. By lifting up his brethren, he himself is raised.”

The name of the fifty-first reading from the Torah is Nitzavim (?????), which means “standing.” Tthe first verse of the portion in which Moses says, “You stand (nitzavim) Nitzavim-Header-960x250today, all of you, before the LORD your G-d” -Deuteronomy 29:10. In this portion, Moses invites the entire assembly of Israel to take on the covenant. In the future, they will repent and G-d will return them to the land of Israel.

You stand this day, all of you, before the Eternal your G-d–you tribal heads, you elders, and you officials, all of the men of Israel, you children, you women, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to water drawer… – Deuteronomy 29:9-10

SUMMARY:

  • Moses tells the assembled people that G-d’s covenant speaks to them and to all of the generations who will follow.
  • G-d warns the Israelites that they will be punished if they act idolatrously, the way the inhabitants of the other nations do.
  • Moses reassures the people that G-d will not forsake them and that they can attain blessings by following G-d’s commandments.

Remember the Covenant:

The title for this week’s first half-portion: Atem nitzavim ha-yom kulkhem lif’nei HaShem Elokeikhem… All of you stand today before HaShem your G-d… It goes on to tell us in verse Deut 29:11-12 the reason why they are standing on the Plains of Moab that day – on the threshold of going into the Land: …l’av’r’cha biv’rit HaShem Elokeicha… …that you may enter into covenant with HaShem your G-d…

those who are standing here with us this day before the Eternal our G-d and … those who are not with us here this day” ( Deut 29:14), which our Rabbinic Sages understood as a reference to all future generations of Jews. Every Jew of every generation was witness to what was about to occur.

……..Those of you who hold fast to the Eternal your G-d are all alive today -Deuteronomy 4:4.

“… to enter into the covenant of the Eternal your G-d, which the Eternal your G-d is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions; in order to establish you this day as G-d’s people and in order to be your G-d, as promised you and as sworn to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deut 29:11-12).” This is the final statement about covenant in the Torah, the central element of the relationship between G-d and Israel.

Covenant agreements: Covenants are agreements concluded between two or more parties as an expression of friendship, peace and mutual obligation.

Rashi as follows: “To enter the covenant – the way of “entering” (lit. “passing into”) was as follows: those who made a covenant used to make a partition (i.e., used to place objects in a straight line) on one side and a partition on the other and pass between them, as it is said, ‘… [like] the calf which they cut in two so as to pass between the halves,’ (Jer. 34:18). In the covenant that Abraham concluded with Abimelech, it was written, “Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a pact” (Gen. 21:27); and Jacob’s pact with Laban is described thus: “Come, then, let us make a pact, you and I… Thereupon Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar, … and they partook of a meal there by the mound” (Gen. 31:44-48).

Covenants were concluded between G-d and the universe (Gen. 9:13), between the Lord and the people of Israel (Gen. 15:18; Gen. 17:7-14), between friends or former enemies, and even between enemy kings after battle. After Ahab king of Israel vanquished Ben Hadad king of Aram, we read, ” ‘I will give back the towns that my father took from your father,’… ‘And I, for my part, will let you go under these terms.’ So he made a treaty with him and dismissed him” (I Kings 20:34). There is also the pact that King David made with the people of Israel when he was anointed king: “All the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel” (II Sam. 5:3).

Regarding the heroic bond between David and Jonathan, in which Jonathan protected his friend David against his father Saul, who sought to kill him, we read: “Jonathan’s soul became bound up with the soul of David; Jonathan loved David as himself… Jonathan and David made a pact, because [Jonathan] loved him as himself” (I Sam. 18:1-3). This pact was sealed by the symbolic act of giving David his cloak, tunic, sword and belt . This pact is mentioned : “Deal faithfully with your servant, since you have taken your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you” (I Sam. 20:8).

New Covenant Prophecy:

This new covenant will be identified by the “heart having Torah”. Torah will be renewed among the Houses of Israel and Judah, Torah will be written in their hearts. Further, Israel and Judah will be His people — He will be their G-d. The conditions of this “New Covenant” are:

  • G-d will put His Torah in Israel’s inward parts and write it in their hearts. –Jeremiah. 31:33; 32:40
  • G-d will maintain a special relationship with Israel – Ezekiel. 37:27-28
  • Israel’s transgressions will be forgiven. -Jeremiah. 31:35; Ezekiel. 16:63; Hebrews. 9:15, 22)
  • Promised Land will be given to Israel. -Jeremiah.32:41-44; Ezekiel. 37:26
  • All Israel shall know the L-RD YHWH. – Jeremiah. 31:34
  • The Temple will permanently stand in Israel. -Ezekiel 37:26-28

Similarly, in Ezekiel 36:26 we see the new heart and spirit, indicative of the new covenant, being discussed. And again, the description is tied in to the messianic kingdom, indicating a still future fulfillment of the new covenant promises.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep Mine ordinances, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. -Ezekiel 36:26

Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where HaShem your G-d drives you, and you return to HaShem your G-d and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that HaShem your G-d will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where HaShem your G-d has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there HaShem your G-d will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then HaShem your G-d will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And HaShem your G-d will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love HaShem your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Also HaShem your G-d will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you will again obeythe voice of HaShem and do all His commandments which I command you today. -Deuteronomy 30:1-8

Beloved, what is it to have a circumcised heart:

Nachmanides explains: From creation, man has had the free choice to do righteousness or evil according to his will … In the Messianic Era, man’s natural inclination will be to choose the good, and the heart will not lust for that which is not appropriate. He will not have any desire for the forbidden whatsoever. And this is what is meant by the “circumcision” spoken of here, for lust (and material desires) are like foreskin for the heart. The circumcision of the heart is that the heart shall not lust [after the forbidden] and shall not desire [the forbidden]. At that time, human beings will return to the spiritual state they possessed before the sin of Adam, when he would by nature do that which is proper to do …

This is what the scripture means in Jeremiah 31:33, “… I will put My Torah within them and on their heart I will write it.” This refers to the abolition of the evil inclination and the hearts doing by nature that which is proper to do … similarly, Ezekiel states, “I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). The “new heart” refers to its new nature … ( Nachmanides on Deuteronomy 30:6)

The prophecy from Ezekiel echoes the prophecies in Deuteronomy 30:1-6. Ezekiel describes how G-d will gather Israel together from the nations, purify them, circumcise their hearts, and enable them to keep the Torah.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your G-d. -Ezekiel 36:26-28

Prophecy of final redemption:

Jeremiah 31:31-34 is prophetic about an event that has not yet fully occurred. That is because this is a national event. It is about the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Our parasha deals with this same event. In the cycle of disobedience and restoration described in the Book of Deuteronomy, And its very important thing is revealed – a prophecy of something that has not yet occurred. we believe it is a prophecy of the final redemption – and the fulfilment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of the New Covenant.

You should recognize this passage as a primary passage regarding the New Covenant – but again, this is a prophecy that has not yet fully come to pass because it is tied like Deuteronomy 30 to a yet future restoration of Israel and Judah.

Beloved, Rabbi Shaul makes this direct connection between the events prophesied of Deuteronomy 30 and the New Covenant. In fact, he ties all of these to faith as well. He quotes right from Deuteronomy 30:11 regarding “New Covenant prophecy.”

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach). -Romans 10:8

All of G-d’s covenants are covenants of faith, but the New Covenant is a covenant of enablement:

For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. -Deuteronomy 30:11-14

Beloved, What sets this covenant apart is the fact that it is written on our hearts. Circumcised hearts. In other words, the New Covenant is a covenant of faithfulness on our part. Deuteronomy 30 is prophesying that this New Covenant is something that the people of Israel will all participate in corporately – nationally – at a time yet future from us now. It is not separate from the covenant at Sinai – it is actually expressed within it.

The “New Covenant” is NOT in effect at this time. Hebrews 8:6-13 reiterates this by its citation of the Tenakh’s terms for this covenant (i.e., there will be no need for “evangelism” as all will know the Lord). Yeshua (as the Divine Tzaddik) has prepared the way for this (by effecting tikkun to Ze’er Anpin), but the New Covenant does not come into reality (“in time”) until His work (the union of Malkut-Shekinah and Tipheret), is finished and is crowned by His arrival as Messiah. Certain “aspects” of the New Covenant may be experienced now, just as aspects of our salvation may be experienced, but is not yet complete until He returns. – Notes from Yashanet.

Rabbi Abraham Ben Ya’aqov on Isaiah 27: 13 ‘” And on that day a great shofar shall be blown… “(v 13). The “great shofar” alludes to the spirit of prophecy that will come into the world in the final redemption to signal to the lost souls that the time of the in-gathering has arrived. The prophet promises that in the final redemption all of the lost members of Israel will be gathered in from all their places of exile in order to worship G-d on the Temple Mount.

thewatchmenfromisrael note:That is the great redemption, the Yeshuah (Salvation) from HaShem when HaShem (Messiah Ben David) speaks again from between the Cherubim………!

If you trust in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and follow HaShem’s righteous Messiah, Yeshua, then we are the first fruits of that New Covenant.

Stages of Redemption:

“And you return to the Lord your G-d and you and your children heed His command with all your heart and soul…then the Lord your G-d will restore your fortunes and take you back in love. He will bring you together again from all the peoples where the Lord your G-d has scattered you.” -Deuteronomy 30:2-3.

Rabbis and Torah commentators about the final redemption:

According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Ma’aser Sheni, Chapter 5), first the Temple will be built and the next stage will be the coming of the Messiah.

According to Sefer Ha-Hinukh (Mitzva 85) the building of the Temple will be preceded by the in-gathering of the exiles, at the end of which most of the Jewish people will be living in the Land.

Isaac Abarbanel, quoting Ran (Rabbenu Nissim Gerondi) claims that in the first stage the people of Israel will be find relief among the nations, the second stage will be the in-gathering of the exiles, and only in the third stage will the Temple be constructed.

Netziv of Volozhin – Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, 1817-1893, author of the bible commentary Ha’ameq Davar: In the first stage there will be an awakening within the people of Israel living among the great nations after “He (G-d) will place in the heart of the nations a love for you”. This arousal will be expressed in a sweeping Aliya movement, “He will bring you together from all the peoples”. Once the main part of the Diaspora has returned from among the nations, “G-d will return to gather you from those nations in which he has dispersed you in little groups”, i.e. also from the smaller nations and countries. And he continues: Likewise Nahmanides in his interpretation of Shir ha-Shirim on the verse “You may have the thousand, O Solomon” (8:12) says that at the beginning there will be a small in-gathering of exiles by permission of the leaders of the various countries, and then G-d will stretch His hand again, as is written: “He will bring you together again…and from there He will take you”. We did not understand the meaning of this “taking”, until we found an explanation in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “And from them likewise I will take some to be levitical priests, said the Lord” ( Isaiah 66:21). That is, even from those places where there are not large numbers of Israelites, and even if the few that are there are less worthy and less learned, even if they have no clear lineage as priests and are not worthy of serving in the Temple, nevertheless Isaiah states that “from them likewise I will take…” that there should be…among them stalwarts worthy to serve in the Temple and to be placed in the priestly ranks.

“Then the Lord your G-d will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live” -Deuteronomy 30:6.

Therefore G-d must “Circumcise our hearts” at the time of the redemption in order to prepare us for the proper love of him with our arrival in the Land. In the final stage of redemption, after “the Jews regain their lost honor”, then will G-d make all the nations pay for the cruelties they inflicted on the people of Israel.

Torah

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Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20

Deuteronomy 30:11-14

Deuteronomy 29:21

Haftarah Portion

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Isaiah 61:10-63:9

Ezekiel 36:26-28

Hosea 3:5

Ha-Berit ha-Hadashah

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Luke 24:1-12

Romans 10:8

II Corinthians 5:21

Notes:

In this Torah portion, Moses describes the Covenant between G-d and the Israelite’s, urging the Israelite’s to uphold the Covenant and honor the Torah so that they may be rewarded with life in the Land of Israel.

Significance of the concept of teshuvah:

Be aware that the first meaning of the word teshuvah is that a person return to the place whence he came, as in “u-teshuvato ha-Ramatah (= Then he would return to Ramah), for his home was there” (I Samuel. 7:17)…and general teshuvah follows the first meaning, that we return to the land whence we came, for it is our home and life .

Returning to Zion and Returning to the Lord: Rabbi Alkalai’s innovative idea was that “there are two sorts of teshuvah: individual teshuvah and general teshuvah.” Individual teshuvah refers to a person repenting according to the established ways of repentance, each at his own level, “but general teshuvah refers to all Israel returning to the Lord our G-d, to the land promised to our ancestors. Whoever lives outside the land of Israel is like a person who has no G-d”.

The Talmud offers about teshuvah (repentance): One who does teshuvah out of awe, his premeditated sins are rendered as unwitting transgressions. One who does teshuvah out of love, his premeditated sins are rendered as merits. -Yoma 86b

Rabbi Alkalai noted that the act of general teshuvah begins with diplomatic endeavors, as he put it: “[The Israelites]…will seek the Lord (Hosea. 3:5)—this refers to the kingdom of heaven; that is to say, the act of teshuvah that will be done by Israel at the End of Days will begin with them seeking amnesty from kings on earth” .

As Rabbi Joshua wrote in Perek Helek, “But the Holy One, blessed be He, will set up a king over them, whose decrees shall be as cruel as Haman’s whereby Israel shall engage in repentance, and he will thus bring them back to the right path” (Sanh. 97b). … “and they shall be called, ‘The Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord’” (Isaiah 62:12).

The Tzaddik and the Ba’al Teshuvah:

The tzaddik fills his bags with valuable objects – a lifetime of good deeds, prayers, Torah learning and mitzvot. After 120 years in this world, he takes his collection of ‘valuables’ to the heavenly court, where each object is taken out and examined.

The angels scrutinize each one. “Tell me, this you call Torah lishmah, Torah studied for its own sake?” “You think that this counts as a prayer recited with a pure heart?” “And this you call a mitzvah?” There is no end to measuring the quality and intentions of good deeds.

But the repentant ba’al teshuvah arrives at the heavenly court in tears. “How could I have wasted my time in the world? How could I have lost my days, spending them in worthless pursuits?” Then the Holy One Himself makes for him new ‘clothes,’ as it says, “Great is Teshuvah, for it transforms sins into merits.” The spiritual clothes that G-d makes for the ba’al teshuvah are certainly of the highest, purest quality. Like the new clothes that the wealthy man bought for his son-in-law, no one will find what to criticize.

This is what the Sages meant when they taught that “The place occupied by the penitent cannot be attained even by the completely righteous.” – from Mishlei Yaakov, pp. 463-464

“The tzaddik is bit concerned only with those close to his ideals, with good and pious people. He will seek out the wicked and sinful to move them to teshuvah. … his charity, therefore, includes not only help for the materially poor and needy, but also the highest form of tzedakh: the spiritual charity of making the wicked meritorious.” -“Chassidic Dimensions – Volume Three”

… the tzaddik will sometimes appear involved with mundane affairs … dealing with masses on their own level … Externally he appears to have lowered and degraded himself, to have stepped aside from his service to G-d. In truth however, he is and remains in a constant state of devekut (union with G-d) in all does.” … “Moreover, as he (the tzaddik) is the comprehensive soul of his generation, he can elevate all and everything that is rooted in his soul. By means of his own good deeds and service to G-d he can elevate even the souls of the wicked.”

-Chassidic Dimensions – Volume Three

“The Tzaddik is called pure, but on some occasion some impurity may be found in him so that he may join the impure to elevate them to a state of purity.”

“Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics,” Elliot R. Wolfson.

(The Tzaddik is) … “one who gives freely and generously. By lifting up his brethren, he himself is raised.” –On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Gershom Scholem, Schocken Books.

Yeshua ( Tzaddik ) is shown associating not only with ‘common people,’ but with those thought to be ‘the worst sinners.’ His connecting to the latter relates to the the concept of the tzaddik lowering himself to ‘elevate’ all of his brethren.

“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” When Yeshua heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” -Mark 2:16,17

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Yeshua haMashiach, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

-II Corinthians 8:9

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of G-d in him.” -II Corinthians 5:21

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Mashiach Yeshua, who, though he expressed the characteristics of G-d, did not count equality with G-d a thing to be desired, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” -Philippians 2:5-7

“And Yeshua answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Yeshua answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgement of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

-John 12:23-32

Rabbi Zadok Hacohen of Lublin condenses this rather broad view, which makes the coming of Mashiach conditional upon Israel’s repentance, into its essence: “The truth is that… King Mashiach will be the only one who repented, and the whole world is forgiven because of him” (Pri Tzaddik, Shmot, Parashat HaChodesh 3).

Rabbi Tzadok bases this rather incredible interpretation on a grammatical oddity found in the pronoun mismatch of “them” and “him” in “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him” (Hosea.14:4). This verse clearly indicates that G-d turns his anger away from them because of him – the latter, according to Rabbi Tzadok, being King Mashiach.

Spirit of G-d as an allusion to Mashiach leads Rabbi Tzadok to this conclusion: “This name is the essence of life… and as written in the holy books, the name of each and every person is the essence of his life, which is why when a person’s name is called, he wakes up from his sleep. This is why they have said that the name of Mashiach was created before the creation of the world” (Pri Tzaddik, Shmot, Parashat HaChodesh 3). This means that Mashiach as the Spirit of G-d is the one who breathes life, even upon those who only consider the possibility of repentance. Mashiach will be able to immerse people with Holy Spirit and so bring them to teshuva.

The role for the person is to perform teshuvah and also having a goal in mind. The goal is to imitate our Messiah, who is Himself in the image of G-d, that we are to “return” / Teshuva to –

my dear children, I am suffering the pains of giving birth to you all over again — and this will go on until the Messiah ( image of G-d ) takes shape in you. –Galatians 4:19

He is the visible image of the invisible G-d. He is supreme over all creation, -Colossians 1:15

For a man indeed should not have his head veiled, because he is the image and glory of G-d, and the woman is the glory of man.

and just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so also we will bear the image of the man from heaven. 1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:49;

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son….., –Romans 8:29

Ten Days of Awe – Time of Judgement:

The Yomim ha Nora’im are considered a “last chance” to perform teshuvah (return to your true self, made in the Image of G-d). At the end of this time period, a person’s fate is said to be sealed:

“On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed how many shall pass on, and how many shall be born; who shall live, and who shall die … who shall rest, and who shall wander … who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” -From the Musaf prayer for Rosh Hashana

“But the Lord of Hosts is exalted through justice, and the holy G-d is sanctified through righteousness: When is the Lord of Hosts exalted through justice? In these ten days from New Year to the Day of Atonement; and none-the-less it says, ‘the holy G-d’.” -Talmud, Berachoth 12b

Thus, the ten Days of Awe are a time of judgement, but with an opportunity for repentance.

And so the Holy One dispenses His judgement to Israel in a spirit of mercy, and accords them as a time of grace those ten days between New Year Day and the Day of Atonement, for the acceptance of all those who repent of their sins and for forgiveness of their iniquities, by giving them a respite till the Day of Atonement. The Holy One had thus given Israel all these commandments to save them from falling into the wrong hands and from being judged with rigor, so that they should all come out innocent on earth, through His mercy which is like the mercy of a father towards his children. All depends on actions and words, as we have explained.’ -Zohar, Bereshith 113b

The ten “Days of Awe” represent an “internal concept of ten” (in the heavenly realm) of perfect judgement. They “play out” in the physical realm in the form of the seven year end time tribulation period. This time period is associated with that of judgement and repentance, for the individual as well as the world. Thus, the ten Days of Awe are a time of judgement, but with an opportunity for repentance.

Do not be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life.-Revelation 2:10

There is a connection between the idea of the Tribulation period, as it occurs here on earth, being of a seven-year duration, and this ‘ten day’ period. ( a mystical relationship between the numbers 7 and 10).

The period of time from Rosh haShana through Yom Kippur is called yomim ha nora’im – “days of awe.” This period can be seen as both the seven days between Rosh haShana (from the end of day two) and beginning of Yom Kippur, as well as including the time of Rosh haShana through the Day of Atonement, making a total of 10 days.

Aryeh Kaplan’s commentary on the Bahir states: “The answer given is that the ten “were expressed with a single word.” The ten represent an internal concept, which is expressed as a single idea. This is because the ten represent a complete structure. The seven, on the other hand, are an incomplete structure, and therefore seen as separate entities.”

 

Hassidic literature: “During the Ten Days of Repentance, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there is a complete seven-day week, one Sunday, one Monday, etc. The Arizal ascribes special significance to this period, explaining that proper service on the Sunday of this week accomplishes repentance and correction of sin for every Sunday of the past year, and so for Monday etc. In addition to correcting past defects, this week also creates spiritual resources for the coming year (for repentance includes regret for the past and resolve for the future) on Sunday we gather strength for spiritually productive Sundays, etc. Where do we find that these seven days provide resources for the coming year? Yom Kippur is actually also called Rosh Hashanah, as indicated by the scriptural phrasing, “On Rosh Hashanah on the tenth of the month.” Chassidut explains that Rosh Hashanah is in an internal mode, and Yom Kippur in an external one. It is evident, then, that the spiritual service of Rosh Hashanah (“the building of the sefirah of malchut”) continues on the following days, reaching completion on Yom Kippur (when the “building of malchut” is accomplished for all the ten sefirot contained in it, i.e. chachmah of malchut, binah of malchut, etc.). All of the Ten Days of Repentance, thus, express the concept of “Rosh Hashanah”; and just as Rosh Hashanah includes all the days of the coming year (analogous to the head’s relationship to the limbs of the body), so do these days.”

And so the Holy One dispenses His judgement to Israel in a spirit of mercy, and accords them as a time of grace those ten days between New Year Day and the Day of Atonement, for the acceptance of all those who repent of their sins and for forgiveness of their iniquities, by giving them a respite till the Day of Atonement. The Holy One had thus given Israel all these commandments to save them from falling into the wrong hands and from being judged with rigor, so that they should all come out innocent on earth, through His mercy which is like the mercy of a father towards his children. All depends on actions and words, as we have explained.’ -Zohar, Bereshith 113b

It is written concerning Daniel and his companions that “at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter than the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat” (Daniel 1:5). This was because the image of their Lord was not removed from them, whereas from those others it was. What was the cause of this? The fact that they did not pollute themselves with the abomination of the prohibited food. Blessed are the Israelite’s who are called to be a “holy people!” Zohar, Shemoth 125b

The following passage from the Zohar speaks of the same period of judgement and also of the “heavenly manna,” as a symbol of what was to come (i.e., Colossians 2:17 – ). Those who have rejected Torah, even if they lay claim to following the historical person of Messiah (i.e., Matthew 7:21-23 ), face judgement: ‘New Year’s Day [Rosh haShana] is a day of judgement for those who have not accepted the healing food, and have neglected the “medicine” of the Torah for the sake of another food, which is leaven. For on this day that “leaven” ascends and accuses mankind and speaks evil against all whom it can malign in any wise. And at that time the Holy One, blessed be He, sits in judgment over all and pronounces His decrees in regard to all the spheres. Therefore, when He gave the Torah to Israel He gave them to taste of that supernal bread of the celestial realm, namely, the manna, by means of which they were enabled to perceive and penetrate into the mysteries of the Torah and to walk in the straight path. -Zohar, Shemoth 183b

The Zohar reminds us that Rosh haShana (‘New Year’s Day’) marks the beginning of this time (‘the Day of the Lord’), where G-d judges each ‘sphere’ (world) of creation: Following the ‘Day of the Lord,’ all of creation from the ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ to the physical world of earthly Jerusalem, will have undergone teshuvah. When the earthly Jerusalem is thus “ready,” the final stages of ‘Yichud Hashem’ will be enabled.

All of creation will undergo teshuvah at the end of days: “The first real sign that the End of Days is approaching is seen, we are told, when the terrestrial and celestial Worlds begin to be profoundly troubled. Both in the Heavens and on the Earth there will be major disturbances that indicate that a vast change is under way. Wars and rumors of disorder will abound. It is to be a period of trial, especially for those who are committed to aiding the process of cosmic growth, as the forces of those who deny everything but their own will seek to hold back the imminent transformation of the World. This crisis is precipitated by the fact that the accumulating level of Yezirah and Beriah present in Asiyah is about to undergo a quantum jump of Teshuvah or conversion and redeem the physical World.” -‘A Kabbalistic Universe,’ Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, Samuel Weiser, Inc. York Beach Maine.

The Talmud expresses this idea as follows: “The Holy One, blessed be He, said, ‘I will not enter the heavenly Jerusalem until I can enter the earthly Jerusalem’. Is there then a heavenly Jerusalem? – Yes; for it is written, Jerusalem thou art build-ed as a city that is compact together.” -Talmud, Ta’anith 5a

Joel’s end-time prophecy: Points out that even in this time of Judgement, G’d seeks people to come to teshuvah (repentance). What is also interesting is the reference to “two rains” given by G-d. The first one, which comes in “due measure” in the first month ( according to the religious calendar) and the second, which is the final one coming at Yom Kippur (i.e., the Day of the Lord ).

“Blow the Shofar in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord comes, for it is near at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness. Like twilight spread upon the mountains; a great and mighty people; there has never been the like, nor shall be any more after them, through the years of many generations. A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns; the land is like the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; and nothing escapes them. The appearance of them is like the appearance of horses; and like horsemen they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array. At their presence the people are in anguish; all faces are covered with blackness. They run like mighty men; they climb the wall like men of war; and they march everyone on his ways, and they do not break their ranks; Nor does one thrust another; they walk everyone in his path; and when they burst through the weapons, they are not wounded. They run to and fro in the city; they run upon the wall, they climb up into the houses; they enter by the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon are dark, and the stars withdraw their shining; And the Lord utters his voice before his army; for his camp is very large; for he who executes his word is strong; for the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; and who can abide it? Yet even now, says the Lord, turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; And tear your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your G-d; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents of the evil. Who knows if he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him; a meal offering and a drink offering to the Lord your G-d? Blow the shofar in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly;Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go out of his room, and the bride out of her chamber. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the vestibule and the altar, and let them say, Spare your people, O Lord, and give not your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the people, Where is their G-d? Then will the Lord was zealous for his land, and pitied his people. And the Lord answered and said to his people, Behold, I will send you grain, and wine, and oil, and you shall be satisfied with that; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations;But I will remove far off from you the northerner, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the eastern sea, and his rear toward the western sea, and his stench and foul smell shall rise, though he has done great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice; for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, you beasts of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness shall spring, for the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and the vine yield their strength. Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your G-d; for he has given you the first rain in due measure, and he has brought down for you the rain in the first month, the former rain, and the latter rain.And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the hopping locust, and the destroying locust, and the cutting locust, my great army which I sent among you. And you shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your G-d, who has dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall never be ashamed. And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your G-d, and none else; and my people shall never be ashamed.” -Joel 2

The book of “James” directly associates “two rains” with the coming of the messiah:“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” -James 5:7-8




UNIVERSAL TORAH: NITZAVIM – By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

DECLARING THE END FROM THE BEGINNING

“Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying ‘My counsel shall stand and all My pleasure I shall do’ “ (Isaiah 46:10).

Parshas NITZAVIM is always read on the last Shabbos before Rosh HaShanah (New Year) and is often (though not this year) coupled with its sister parshah of VAYELECH, with which it shares the same theme. According to tradition, these and all the remaining parshahs of the Torah were delivered by Moses to the assembled Children of Israel on the very last day of his life (Rashi on Deut. 29:9). As the climax and summing up of the whole Torah, the stark reproof and sublime poetry of these parshahs make them appropriate reading prior to and during the coming Days of Awe. In this period, we must make a very honest reckoning about time past and take the necessary lessons to heart in order to fortify ourselves for the New Year. We stand poised to face its challenges, just as Israel stood in the Plains of Moab, poised to enter the Land.

ATEM NITZAVIM — “You are standing”. The Hebrew word NITZAVIM, translated as “standing”, has the connotation of firmly founded stability. This is the stability and fortitude that come from the knowledge of the Torah that we internalize in our hearts. Here, as we stand at the end of the Torah, we ought to be much wiser than we were at the beginning. Shortly, we will be “entering the Land”, starting all over again from the beginning, BEREISHIS. Just before we “enter the Land”, the New Year, Moses tells us to stand and reflect on the lessons we have learned so far, in order to be able to start over again on a better footing.

Moses explicitly addressed this section of the Torah to all Israel in all the generations: “those who are here with us standing this day before G-d, and those that are not here with us today” — the unborn souls of all the later generations. The Torah’s lessons were not only addressed to the time of Moses, the ancient world, the Middle Ages or only the generations preceding the “Enlightenment” and the birth of modern science and technology. Our parshah is explicitly addressed to “the last generation, your children who will arise after you” (Deut. 29:21). This is the generation that faces the consequences of the mass abandonment of the Covenant, the anger and concealment of G-d, the many evils and troubles. This is the generation that will say, “Is it not because my G-d is not within me that these evils have found me?” (Deut. 31:17). Those standing at the end of time are in a position to look over the entire span of history all the way back to the beginning. Then they can testify that everything foretold thousands of years ago in these parshahs, including the loss of the Land, the tribulations of exile, the “hiding” of G-d from the world, the return to the Land and today’s Teshuvah movement, have all come to pass.

These lessons are addressed not only to Israel, on whose very flesh they have been taught again and again. The stark lesson of G-d’s righteousness is addressed to “the stranger who will come from a distant land” (ibid.) and to the entire world. “.And they will see the wounds of that Land and the illnesses with which G-d has afflicted it. Sulfur and salt, conflagration. And all the nations will say, Why has G-d done this to this Land, what is this great burning anger? And they will say, Because they abandoned the Covenant.”

As we daily witness the fires that have been ravaging Israel and its people in front of our very eyes, Moses tells us bluntly to be in no doubt whatever about one thing: “Lest there be among you a man or woman or family or tribe whose heart is turning away today from HaShem our G-d to go to serve the gods of the nations. And when he hears the words of this curse, he will bless himself in his heart saying I will have SHALOM even though I go in the stubbornness of my heart. G-d will not desire to forgive him” (Deut. 29:17-19). We are to have no doubt whatever that it is impossible for Israel to enjoy SHALOM in the Land of Israel except through embracing G-d’s Covenant and His Torah.

We may ask what we can do if we ourselves want to keep the Torah but others do not. Why should the righteous and innocent suffer collective punishment because of the sins of those who have abandoned the Covenant? Moses addresses this question in the deep, deep teaching that says: “The things that are concealed belong to HaShem our G-d, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever to carry out all the words of this Torah” (Deut. 29:28). Only G-d knows what is in the heart of each person, and G-d’s dealings with the entire world contain mysteries that we cannot understand because we do not possess His perfect knowledge of all things, past, present and future. These mysteries do not belong to us — we cannot understand the way G-d deals with each one of His creatures in accordance with His perfect knowledge. Our province is what has been revealed to us in the Torah. The Torah teaches us what G-d asks Us to get up and do in this world, without looking at what others may or may not be doing.

In the words of Rashi (ad loc.): “If you say, What is in our hands to do? You punish the many because of the wicked thoughts of the individual. Surely no man knows what is in the hidden depths of his friend? G-d answers: I do not punish you over what is concealed, which ‘belong to HaShem our G-d’, and He will exact payment from that individual. It is what is revealed that belongs to us and our children — to eradicate the evil from within us, and if justice is not carried out on them (for known wrong-doing) the many will suffer.”

Immediately following this comes what is known as PARSHAS HA-TESHUVAH, the “Chapter on Repentance” (Deut. 30:1-10), which some people have the custom of reciting daily in order to keep it constantly in mind. Lest we be disheartened by the harsh words and dire threats contained in the preceding and following sections, Moses here emphasizes G-d’s unstinting compassion and kindness as he calls on us to return to Him with all our hearts. Moses promises us that G-d will definitely turn around the captivity and exile and gather in the exiles from all the nations, even those outcast to the furthest reaches of the heavens. Moses promises that “G-d will bring you to the land of your fathers and you will inherit it, and He will benefit you and multiply you even more than your fathers! And G-d will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed to love HaShem your G-d with all your heart and all your soul in order that you should have life!” (Deut. 30:5-6). The initial letters of the four Hebrew words for “your heart and the heart of your seed” (ES LEVOVCHO V-ES LEVAV) spell out the name of the present month, ELUL (Baal HaTurim). For this self-circumcision of our hearts is the essence of the work we must do this month.

The Torah is not in the heavens or over the seas. It is right here: “For the matter is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart to DO IT” (ibid. v. 14). Moses wants us never to forget our existential situation in this world as agents possessing free will. In order to win the battle of free will, our work here in this world is first and foremost with our mouths and in our hearts. Again and again Moses reminds us that we are faced with a blessing and a curse — the blessing if we follow the ways of the Torah and the curse if we do not. Our task is to use our mouths in prayer and self-empowerment in order to fortify our hearts in the path of Torah and service of G-d. “Life and death I have put before you, the blessing and the curse. And you shall choose life in order that you should LIVE, you and your seed” (ibid. v. 19).

Shabbat Shalom!!! Shanah Tovah UMevorechet – Have a Good and Blessed New Year!!! – Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum



Haftarat Nitzavim – ‘You are standing’ – Isaiah 61:10-63:9

This haftarah is read on the last Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, as the seven weeks of consolation after Tisha B’Av come to a close. Our time of repentance is now being summed up in the approach of the High Holy Days. Yom T’ruah [Rosh HaShana], and Yom Kippur and Sukkot are coming. The King is in the field and Our redemption draws nigh.

The haftorah then recounts G-d’s oath to eventually redeem Zion, when the Israel will praise G-d in Jerusalem. The haftorah also contains a description of the punishment G-d will mete out to Edom and the enemies of Israel.

Isaiah concludes: “In all [Israel’s] afflictions, He, too, is afflicted, and the angel of His presence redeemed them…”

This haftarah sums it all up. HaShem Great favor is upon Israel:

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. -Isaiah 62:1

At the end of the haftarah, Isaiah reassures the people that G-d will always come to their rescue: “In His love and pity He Himself redeemed them, raised them and exalted them all the days of old” – Isaiah 63:9.



We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .

We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.

[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BeitYaaqov International.

Gaddi – President

A Servant of Most Ancient Holy one of Israel and Disciple of Yeshua HaMashiach

http://betyisrael.org

email : efrayim.gaddi@betyisrael.org