07 September 2018

"Arevim Zeh Lazeh"

27 Elul 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Nitzavim

Countdown - Three Days Until Judgment Day

From the commentary on the Stone Edition Chumash for Parashat Nitzavim
On the last day of his life, Moses gathered together every member of the Jewish people, from the most exalted to the lowliest, old and young, men and women, and initiated them for the last time into the covenant of God. What was new about this covenant was the concept of arevut, responsibility for one another, under which every Jew is obligated to help others observe the Torah and to restrain them from violating it. This is why Moses began by enumerating all the different strata of people who stood before him, and why he said (v. 28) that God would not hold them responsible for sins that had been done secretly, but that they would be liable for transgressions committed openly (Or HaChaim). This is essential to the worldview of the Jew, for it explains why one may not be apathetic to the shortcomings of others and why public desecrations of the Torah are the concern of every Jew of good conscience.
"...Moses divided the people into categories to suggest that everyone is responsible according to how many others he or she can influence. ...God does not demand more than is possible, but He is not satisfied with less. (Or HaChaim)
The author of this blog strives to live up to this responsibility. 


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