Vayeilech-Yom Kippur 5776-2015

“Living a Truly Meaningful Life”

On the final day of his life, Moses teaches all of humankind how to live a truly meaningful life.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5774-2014

“Repentance-With a Little Help from our Friend in Heaven!”

After numerous dreaded imprecations, the Torah predicts that the People Of Israel will repent and will be returned by G-d to their land. The Al-mighty even promises to assist the people in their process of repentance.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5773-2013

"They’re Not Laughing At Me Anymore!"

In the spirit of the powerful message that Moses delivered to the Jewish people at the end of his life, regarding the validity of the traditional Jewish lifestyle, I would like to share an essay that I composed several years ago, “They’re Not Laughing At Me Anymore!”

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Vayeilech-Yom Kippur 5773-2012

“The Limits of Free Will”

During the period of the Ten Days of Penitence, and especially with the imminent arrival of Yom Kippur, it is most appropriate to inquire about the limits of human free will.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5771-2011

"Renewing the Covenant"

How could Moses have made a covenant with future generations who were unable to agree or disagree with the covenant, or to accept or refuse to be a part of the agreement?

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5770-2010

“Rebelling with G-d”

In parashat Vayeilech, Moses denounces the People of Israel, calling them “rebels with G-d” for a third time. What does this expression mean, and how does it reflect the Jewish people’s special relationship with the Al-mighty, even in times of rebellion?

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5769-2009

"Farewell to a Great Leader"

At age 120, Moses went out to speak to the people of Israel and console them over his impending death. The death of Moses brings to mind the recent passing of a great Jewish leader, Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivah Shaar HaTorah, who was extremely helpful to NJOP with his courageous decisions and support of our vital work.

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0 Comments14 Minutes

Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5767-2007

"The Choosing People"

According to Dr. Yisrael Eldad, the greatest of all the blessings bestowed on humankind is the ability, highlighted in parashat Nitzavim, to choose. This is what gives meaning to human life and elevates it above all other creations. It is not so much how we make our living that determines our worth. It is how we live our lives that has the power to render us to be of infinite value.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5766-2006

"The Torah's Not-So-Secret Formula for Peace"

There has never been a period of peace for the Jewish people without a concomitant return to G-d. Although parashat Nitzavim has an abundance of uplifting promises predicting G-d redeeming His people and gathering them in from exile, all the goodness is contingent upon our prior return to G-d.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5764-2004

"Hastening the Messiah"

Our rabbis see in the verses of parashat Nitzavim an allusion to the Messianic era. Moses predicts that the children of Israel will return to the L-rd their G-d, and will listen to G-d's voice. The Jewish people can hasten the Messiah's arrival by doing what is right and just in G-d's eyes.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5762-2002

"The Promise of Total Return"

It has been said regarding Jewish life in America that our grandparents prayed for a melting pot, but what we've gotten instead is a meltdown! Despite the staggering losses of Jews to assimilation, the Torah in parashat Nitzavim gives us hope for the future. If we are to bring our lost brothers and sisters back, we need to mobilize the community of committed Jews to reach out to the non-committed. For the price of a chicken we can bring a Jew home!

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Vayeilech 5761-2001

"Appreciating One's Own Inner Worth"

Unfortunately, there are many who feel themselves unworthy of G-d's forgiveness, or unworthy of participating in the communal contrition of the Jewish people. Judaism rejects that idea, insisting that each and every soul is precious to G-d, and qualifies for Divine forgiveness.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5760-2000

"An Exclusive Covenant with an Inclusive Philosophy"

In parashat Nitzavim, Moses, on the last day of his life, gathers all the Jewish people from the lowliest to the most exalted, to bring them into the covenant. Just as the people did in the time of Moses, we too gather into our synagogues during the Ten Days of Penitence, together with all our Jewish brothers and sisters, those who are worthy and those who seem unworthy. In this singular moment, we stand together as one Jewish people, past, present and future, seeking G-d's mercy.

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0 Comments8 Minutes