27 September 2019

"Renewal of the Covenant"

27 Elul 5779
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Nitzavim
On the last day of his life, Moshe 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 ערבות, 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 Moshe began by enumerating all the different strata of people who stood before him...
You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem, your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers - all the men of Israel; your small children, your women, and your proselyte who is in the midst of your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water, for you to pass into the covenant of Hashem, your God, and into His imprecation that Hashem, your God, seals with you today. 
 ...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.  (Stone Edition Chumash Commentary)
Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will form a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, a new covenant. Not like the covenant that I formed with their forefathers on the day I took them by the hand to take them out of the land of Egypt, that they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, says the Lord. 
For this is the covenant that I will form with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will place My law in their midst and I will inscribe it upon their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be My people.
And no longer shall one teach his neighbor or [shall] one [teach] his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," for they shall all know Me from their smallest to their greatest, says the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will no longer remember. (Yirmiyahu 31.30-33)


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    Something new about Sha'ar haRachamim
    shabbat shalom

    1. Thanks, but that was from three months ago and apparently was a small thing. And it's not the first time, although it is rare. There was quite a sizable wall collapse and small landslide in the area of the Mughrabim Gate a number of years ago.

      Shabbat shalom umevorach.