Parashiot Nitzavim and Vayelech (standing and He went)


Parashiot Nitzavim and Vayelech (standing and He went)

Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 and 31:1-30

Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9

This week we read two parashiot, Parashat Nitzavim and Parashat Vayelech. In the second Torah reading it is said,

And Moses commanded them saying, ‘at the end of seven years at the appointed time, the Sabbatical year (Sh’mitah) at the Feast of Tabernacles; when all of Israel comes to appear before Me, HaShem your G-d in the place which He will choose, you shall read this Torah before Israel in their ears.” Deuteronomy 31:10-11

This year, on the evening of September 24, the Biblical Festival of Trumpets begins. According to Rabbinical tradition, this marks the New Year 5775. This year is a Sh’mitah year; that is, within the borders of Israel, farmers must not plant their fields nor harvest them. Exactly two weeks later is one of the three Biblical Festivals, the Feast of Tabernacles. This Festival is one of the three Festivals in which every Jewish male, 20 years of age and above, must go up to Jerusalem to observe. Not only did males go up, but usually entire families joined in and rejoiced as well in the Holy City.

Each time there was a Sh’mitah year the entire Torah would be read during the Feast of Tabernacles. The word of G-d states that all people would hear this reading of the Torah; men, women, children and even the Gentiles who were in the Land. What was the reason for this special reading of Genesis through Deuteronomy during the seven days of Succot (Feast of Tabernacles)? The next section in our Parashah states that the people would learn and develop a fear of the L-RD and be prepared to cross the Jordan River and possess the Land. This makes sense during the forty years in the wilderness, but what about after the people had entered into the Land?

The answer is for the preparation to enter into the Kingdom. There is an inherent relationship between the Torah and life during the Millennial Kingdom. Therefore this Succot, why not lead your family to read from the Torah each day? You will be surprised at how G-d will respond to His people doing so.


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