Parashat Nitzavim / פרשת נצבים

Crop of The Flight of the Prisoners by James Jacques Joseph Tissot


Parashat Nitzavim is the 51st weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the eighth reading of Devarim (“Deuteronomy”). Nitzavim (נִצָּבִים) means Ones Standing and is the second word of the parashah.

Mosheh (Moses) addresses those assembled as well as those not present as those with whom HaShem our Elokim (G-d) is entering into a sworn covenant, that He may establish us as His people as He promised the Patriarchs. Mosheh then solemnly warns us not to turn away from HaShem to serve the idols of the nations and describes in some detail what will happen if we do. He then tells us until when the Torah applies.

Foreseeing, however, the rebellion of the nation and the resulting exile, Mosheh addresses us among the nations this very day with a promise of restoration when we shuv (return/repent), what that teshuvah (repentance) includes, and what the result will be, encouraging us that we are able to do it with HaShem’s help. As Mosheh says, he has set before us Life and death, a blessing and a curse, which Mosheh then briefly describes.

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Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20

1st Aliyah: Deuteronomy 29:9-11 (3 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 29:12-14 (3 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Deuteronomy 29:15-28 (14 verses)
4th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 30:1-6 (6 verses)
5th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 30:7-10 (4 verses)
6th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (4 verses)
7th Aliyah: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (6 verses)
Maftir: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (6 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Isaiah 61:10 – 63:9

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Mashiakh v’Mitzvot

Messiah in the Parashah

Sedom and Amorah, Admah and Tzevoim were overthrown by the Memra of HaShem.

‘The upright of you will be favoured with a blessed repentance, and though you have sinned, yet will your repentance come up to the glorious throne of HaShem your G-d if you will hearken to His Memra according to all that I have commanded you this day; you, and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul. And His Memra will accept your repentance with favour, and will have mercy upon you, and he will gather you again from all the nations where HaShem your G-d had scattered you. Though you may be dispersed to the ends of the heavens, from there will the Memra of HaShem gather you together by the hand of Eliyahu the great priest, and from there will He bring you by the hand of the King Messiah. And the Memra of HaShem your G-d will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed by inheritance, and you shall possess it, and he will bless you and increase you more than your fathers.’

‘And the Memra of HaShem your G-d will send these curses upon your enemies who have oppressed you in your captivities, and such as have hated and persecuted, to destroy you. But you will return and be obedient to the Memra of HaShem, and do all his commandments that I command you this day.’

‘And the Memra of HaShem will return to rejoice over you, to bless you, as he rejoiced over your fathers, if you will hearken to the Memra of HaShem your G-d in keeping his commandments and statutes that are written in the scroll of this Torah.’

‘For the Memra is near you, in your houses of study…’

‘Choose therefore the way of Life, even the Torah, that you and your children may live the Life of the World to Come, that you may love HaShem your G-d, to obey His Memra and keep close to His fear; for the Torah in which you occupy yourselves will be your life in this world and the prolongment of your days in the World to Come…’

Good Deeds in the Parashah

Love HaShem your G-d, walk in His ways, and keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgements.

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