Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Vayelech
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Yaakov Ben Behora

Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelech


Rabbi Yaakov Zev

Next Shabbat, Jews all over the globe will usher in Rosh Hashanah, 5767, which begins the Ten Days of Penitence. This is the period set aside for reflection, for introspection, for asking ourselves serious questions, who are we, what is our value system, and what guides our lives.

Rabbi Mordechai Grinberg, Rosh Hayeshivah, Kerem B’Yavneh, in his recently published Sefer, "Kerem L’Shlomo" cites the talmudic discussion in Sanhedrin 97b regarding three verses in this week’s parashah. The Torah states in Chapter 30, Verse 2: "And you will return to the Lord, your God," then in Verse 3, "...the Lord...will gather you from all the peoples wherein you have been scattered," and finally in Verse 10, "...if you will turn unto the Lord your God." The discussion revolves around the difference of opinion between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua regarding the sequence of events. Does the redemption of the Jewish people of Israel depend upon their prior repentance, or not? According to Rabbi Yehoshua, the first verse relates to repentance which will result from the difficult events in the life of the people, whereas the last verse relates to repentance out of the desire of the people to return to God out of love and attachment, rather than fear.

Rabbi Yehoshua further adds that the first verse relates not only to a return to God, but also to a return to Eretz Israel out of desperation and suffering in the lands of the dispersion. The last verse relates to a return to Eretz Israel out of a love and longing for the Holy Land.

In our time, we have seen both expressions of Aliyah; those who have returned to Eretz Israel because of oppression, and those who have returned out of an inner love of the Land.

During these Days of Penitance, while contemplating the need to return to God, maybe we ought to consider not only who am I, but where I am as well.

את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר