Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Nitzavim
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Yaakov Ben Behora

Parashat Nitzavim

All and Each


Rabbi Shubert Spero

"You stand this day all of you before the Lord your God, your heads your tribes, your elders and your officers, each man in Israel" (Devarim 29:9).

Moshe's declaration to the assembled Israelites comes at a most pivotal moment in our history and contains a most vital message. After forty years in the wilderness, the Israelites are about to enter Eretz Israel. This is the new generation physically toughened by the austere life of the desert and spiritually sensitized by exposure to the teachings of the Torah and by having witnessed the partial fulfillment of God’s promise.

This generation is about to face new and painful dangers and challenges; the uncertainties of a changing leadership, years of warfare, a strange culture, a different sedentary way of life. Throughout Sefer Devarim Moshe had addressed them as a collective, "all of you." Now, however, Moshe turns to them and reminds them that ultimately we stand before God as individuals ("each man in Israel"), each person responsible and accountable for his or her decisions and actions. As they make their way into the land, each individual will have to choose his profession, his particular way of life and what to emphasize in worshipping God.

Diaspora Jewry today finds itself similarly challenged. You too have been witness to a clear and dramatic fulfillment of a central part of the prophetic promise. Over five million Jews have returned to a sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Israel. The Jewish character of the state will be determined during the next few years by the number and religious quality of the people living there.

As we near the completion of the reading of the Torah and approach the days of Judgment, every individual Jew is standing before God. Precisely because in our day, Torah authorities do not agree what sort of mitzvah is yishuv eretz yisrael and whether ours is a time of the beginning of the redemption, each individual must make his own decision. Will you be among those who seize the opportunity to come to live in Israel and help to shape its future? The decision and the responsibility is yours and yours alone.

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
Aloh Na'aleh POB 4337, Jerusalem 91042
Tel: 972-2-566-1181 ext. 320 ~ Fax: 972-2-566-1186

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