Weekly Sidra: Nitzavim/Vayelech (Standing ones/And He Went)
Torah Portion: Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30
Haftorah: Yeshayahu / Isaiah 61:10-63:9
The future belongs to us, as well as the past. This Sidrah takes us back to the future when we all stood together as one people, committed to the covenant a new covenant…
Devarim 29:9 (10) ”You are standing today, all together, before Hashem your G-d: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, all the men of Israel,hayom today – “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”
This passage comes to teach us that the new covenant will begin in the Malchut Shamayim, the Shabbat of the world, as we know the author of Hebrews teaches us about the use of this word in a drasha. This passage is the predicator of the Brit Chadasha that Moshe, the Redeemer, brings the new generation into as they are about to enter into the Land of Caanan. The passages also teaches us that Hashem will not leave one of His flock behind as it is written, “Your people will all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever etc”,(Isaiah 60:21) and that Hashem has given this covenant to all if they will listen to His voice and keep His Torah. Additionally, it states, “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making stand, says Hashem, ‘so shall your offspring and your name stand.” However, those who harden their heart will “not be forgiven.”(v.19) This is blaspheme of the Spirit of G-d as Yeshua Rabbeinu teaches us that those who see the works of G-d and deny that it was Hashem that performed them and give credit to other powers, is not worthy of the World to Come and cannot be forgiven. This is parallel to the people standing before Moshe who saw the works of G-d in the desert, yet they rebelled and did not believe Hashem was in their midst. It is the work of the Spirit of G-d in the “New Covenant” to lead a person to keep Torah and to walk contrary to the Torah shows a heart of wormwood and gall. This ‘new covenant’ is actually the fulfilled covenant of Moshe without the impediments of our stony heart. For it will happen after all the imprecation of the blessings and curses happen (30:1) and he circumcises our hearts to keep His mitzvot (30:6).
All together, before Hashem your G-d: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, all the men of Israel
Because the covenant was marred from the incident with the golden calf and therefore showed that they had broken the unity they had when they camped before Har Sinai, where they were truly one. Here it teaches us that the nation was reunified and that the Heads of the tribes, the elders etc, were there in an orderly fashion and to keep the nation accountable in a way that it was not before. The Midrash Tanchuma gives a beautiful example of how this unity will protect the nation from ever being broken again. He states,
“Usually, if a person picks up a bundle of reeds, do you think he can break them all at once? However, if he takes them one at a time, even small child could break them. Similarly, you will find that Yisrael will not be redeemed until tehyar are all united as a single group, as it says “In those days and at that time, says Hashem, ‘the Beney Yisrael shall come, they with the Beney Yehudah together (Yermiyahu 50:4)”
Unity is a key factor in the preservation of the covenants of Hashem. In our days, unity is very hard to come by, and each person does what is right in his own eyes. The elders of the nation are not unified as we are speaking of here even though (baruch Hashem) they are unified on a spiritual level.
Unity is very important to Hashem’s purpose of redemption and promise. Avraham was given the promise on Moriah when he and his son, Yitz’chak went to do His will “yachdav/as one.” Hashem was able to pass this covenant on due to their unity and similarity of character. It is said that Yitz’chak’s life was not described like Avraham and Ya’akov because he did not do anything separate from what his father did. Yitz’chak was known for his strength of character (gevorah) to subdue his own ego and to mold it into what would become the ideal of ‘yirat Hashem.’ This was so that he could become the inheritor of the promise given to his father.
Similarly, in this passage, it was the second generation who would inherit the promise given to their fathers who die in the wilderness. We see the pattern of Yitz’chak in them. The Torah “jumps” thirty-eight years before describing the next part of their journey in the desert. It was during these thirty-eight years in which they learned fear of Heaven and learned under Moshe Rabbienu (their father). The second generation is crucial to the extension of the covenant.
Yeshua Rabbienu also exhorted our need for unity to the Shli’chim in Yochanon 17 and we see that they had all things in common in Acts.
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. (John 17:9-11) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Act 2:42-47 ESV)
Raising up a new generation is vitally important. We must do as the Torah instructs- teach the Holy Torah to our children. Additionally, in the midst of teaching Torah, we must uphold the teachings and sayings of the Messiah who gave us instructions on holiness, unity with the Father, and how to live a life that is pleasing to Hashem, without hypocrisy and conceit. Our children must be able to say that they stood at the foot of the mountain and know that they declared that they would keep the covenant of Hashem and that it belongs to them as well. Many families teach either Torah or Messiah as if they were mutually exclusive to one another, but it only teaches a small aspect of the fuller picture. Yes, there is merit in both, and one can exist knowing only one, but there is a special call for those who “keep the mitzvot and the testimony of Yeshua,” (Rev 14:12) and indeed, it takes enduring tzadikim to keep this charge.
The testimony we give must be unity; unity of Hashem, unity of His people, and the unity of His Torah. When we stood before Hashem and declared we would keep His covenant, it was for this world and the world to come. It was for body and soul, so that they may be united in purity at the Resurrection of the Dead. It was so the Name of Hashem, yitbarach, may be unified as being the Essence and Administrator of that unity. Today we stand, so we may stand before Him in the future. Today we love Him and keep His mitzvot so that we may do so in the rebuilt Beit HaMikdash, in the Malchut Sha’mayim when the Brit Chadasha comes to pass and it will be said: On that day that Hashem will be One and His Name One. (Zech 14:9) Ya’vo Alienu.
 Psalm 95:7-8 and Hebrews 4:7
 Isaiah 66:22; Tanchuma Nitzavim 4 speaks of the world to come, the feast of levythan and the reward of the righteous in the Olam Haba. The new covenant (in its fullness) is in the Malchut Shamayim and/or Olam Haba(the world to come). Interesting note that R. Tanchuma does not use a passage with the word ??? but the word which he uses interchangeably here. However in #3 when he quotes Rabbi Avahu in the name of R. Sh’’muel bar Nachmani who uses the two words differently where the word ??? is used as a physical standing. Perhaps R. Tanchuma means to teach us that we will physically be a part of the world to come and not just spiritually with our soul
 See Matthew 12:31
 Ezekiel 36:25-27
 Tanchuma 3; Shemot 32:4
 Devarim 29:18
 Kli Yakar. R. Luntshits goes to great lengths to show how this works and why and brings out many brilliant parallels in the Tanach and Talmud give his proof. (see also Baba Batra 174a)
 Tanchuma: Nitzavim 1
Writen by The Jewish Carpenter (דוד בן גבריאל)
Tags: author of hebrews, back to the future, brit chadasha, drasha, elders, flock, impediments, isaiah, israel hayom, moshe, new covenant, new earth, new heavens, one people, redeemer, Shabbat, stony heart, Torah, wormwood, Yeshua
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