Nitzavim is the name of this week’s parasha. (Usually it is read with
Va’yalech but not this year.) There are several memorable verses here,
but the very first two verses are outstanding.
אַתֶּ֨ם נִצָּבִ֤ים הַיּוֹם֙ כֻּלְּכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֑ם
רָאשֵׁיכֶ֣ם שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֗ם זִקְנֵיכֶם֙ וְשֹׁ֣טְרֵיכֶ֔ם כֹּ֖ל אִ֥ישׁ
You stand this day, all of you, before the LORD your God—your tribal
heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel,
טַפְּכֶ֣ם נְשֵׁיכֶ֔ם וְגֵ֣רְךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּקֶ֣רֶב מַחֲנֶ֑יךָ מֵחֹטֵ֣ב
עֵצֶ֔יךָ עַ֖ד שֹׁאֵ֥ב מֵימֶֽיךָ׃
your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from
wood chopper to water drawer—
We know that every word in the Torah means something. Then why do we
read, “all of you.” That phrase is not needed. Why do we need almost two
full verses describing who was standing there and gathered together? It
certainly would have been fine just to say, “You are standing.”
I think that the Torah uses so many words because often it is easy to
forget about others. Maybe we only focus our attention on certain
people, or certain constituencies in CBI or elsewhere. Perhaps we only
focus on ourselves and those we know best.
The Torah teaches us that what we do effects everyone and therefore we
should try to be inclusive and think of others — all of others. It even
stated that we need to be aware of the stranger in our midst. Today
this is a great lesson for all of us to assimilate into our lives.
Please let me know what you think. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.