Midreshet Amit


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Standing Together

By: Rabbi Jason Knapel

Parshat Nitzavim is always read before Rosh HaShanah and there are many connections between this parsha and the Yom HaDin we are about to experience.
The Slonimer Rebbe has and interesting comment about the first phrase of the parsha. “Behold you are standing today…”

The Torah tells us that the Bnei Yisrael were standing together “Today”. The Slonimer comments that the day was the Yom Hadin. Bnei Yisrael, after hearing all the Curses were very nervous - how could they be successful in the Din? In fact Rashi comments that Moshe had to assure them that all is not lost – You are standing here today even though you have rebelled against G-d many times. Even though the Jews sinned throughout their time in the Midbar Hashem did not destroy them.

The Slonimer has a slightly different interpretation. He explains that Moshe was telling Bnei Yisrael how to succeed in the Din – by standing together. When and individual is judged on his own merits then the judgment can be harsh, but if he is part of the Tzibur then he is judged with the merit of his connection to the Tzibur and therefore he can succeed in the Din. This is also an explanation for the power of Tefillah Betzibur and why it is so important.
The Slonimer takes the idea deeper, not only do we need to attach ourselves to the tzibur but we also need to work for the tzibur – we need to not only focus on ourselves but also on the rest of Klal Yisrael.

We know that Hashem promises us that the Jewish People will never be totally destroyed. Since the Jewish nation is eternal, if one becomes indispensable to the Jewish People Hashem will judge him favorably. Rav Amital explains that this is the meaning of the Famous Gemara in Rosh Hashanah. The Gemara says that when Moshe was asking forgiveness for Chet HaEgel Hashem wrapped Himself in a Talit and said the 13 middot and told Moshe that when the nation needs forgiveness – do this before Me and I will answer your tefillot. Rav Amital explains that Hashem was acting as a Shaliach Tzibur – this is not just a Chazan but a messenger of the Tzibur. When one acts on behalf of the Jewish Nation then Hashem listens to their Tefillot. Rav Amital explains the reason that Hashem wrapped himself in the Talit was in order not to be “seen”. In other words when one does not focus on themselves but only on the Tzibur…..

Before this Yom HaDin we should all think of our connection to Klal Yisrael our nation and people. Are we connected? Do we do anything for the Klal or do we focus only on ourselves? Do we feel the Simcha or sadly the pain of our brothers and sister?

Beezrat Hashem this Rosh HaShanah we should be united as one nation, in one land BeYachad!
Shabbat Shalom