29 Sep Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Nitzavim 5776
This Shabbat, the final Shabbat of the year 5776, we read from Parashat Nitzavim which opens with the words “Atem Nitzavim Hayom Kulchem Lifnei Adonai Eloheichem” which means, “You stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 29:9 NJPS). It is quite the appropriate sentiment for the final days of the year as beginning this coming Sunday night we will be doing just that – standing before the Lord our God in judgment, pleading for another year inscribed in the Book of Life. And yet, as much as the High Holidays inspire us annually and remind us of these critical moments, we must not undervalue the fact that indeed every day we stand before God. God’s presence is not in our lives only on Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur but every day as God watches over us and sees the choices we make and the lives we lead. We are always “nitzavim/standing” before God and we should be mindful of this fact every day of the year.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik