Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Nitzavim
To dedicate this lesson



Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Elul 23 5777
"The secret things belong to Hashem….."For this Mitzva is not hidden from you, nor far away across the sea… is close to you, & you can perform it."

What are the secret things, & what things are revealed? And what exactly is "this Mitzva" that the pasuk refers to? It’s all so mysterious, so puzzling…..or is it?

Once there was a boy who sat under a beautiful oak tree in his backyard, swinging upon a wooden swing. He had a dream. In his dream he saw a magnificent palace with tall stone walls around it. The walls had 7 gates, & next to
one of the gates was a statue of a lion. On the side of the lion, beneath the ground, was buried a huge treasure. The boy woke up, but each day the dream came back to him.

And so the boy finally decided that he must have this treasure. He packed his belongings & journeyed to that far-off land. He found the palace & approached it, circling the wall until he came to the Lion Gate. He took out a small shovel & was about to start digging when a burly guard approached him. "No one digs here!" said the guard, "this is the king’s property & no one else’s!"

"But there is a treasure here, I dreamt of it & I must find it!" said the boy. The guard laughed. "Silly boy, there is no treasure here! But it’s a funny thing that you say. Because for the last many nights, I myself have dreamt that there is a great treasure located far from here, hidden under a swing that is held by the branches of a large oak tree!" The boy returned to his home &, sure enough, the treasure was right where the guard had dreamed it was.

The treasure, THE unique Mitzva of which the Torah speaks, is none other than Teshuva, the G-d – given ability to "re-boot," to go back, to take back the mistakes we’ve made & return our neshamot to a more pristine condition. Could there be a more precious gift than this, the opportunity to start over & get it right? It’s something we can do right now, today, in our own home, in our own room - & it can - & will - change our lives for the better.

When Dorothy despairs of ever being able to go home, Glinda the Good Witch of the North points to Dorothy's ruby slippers & says, "You had the power all along, my dear!" And so do we. We have the power anytime we choose to
come home, to return. Not to Kansas, but to Torah, to Israel, to Hashem. We just have to tap our heels & our feet will take us there!

Shana Tova – G’mar K’tiva V’Chatima Tova!
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