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Nitzavim: The Privilege of Learning Torah

By: Susie Shenkin

Growing up, I have always been taught that my soul and all the souls of future generations were present at Mount Sinai at the moment that the Torah was given. I have always pondered what this truly means for me as a modern Jewish girl.
In this week’s Parashah, chapter 29, versus 13 and 14, we are taught that a covenant was made between the Jewish people and G-d. This covenant was made for not only those standing before G-d, but also “with him that is not with us this day”.  This verse confronts us with a difficult question; how could a covenant that was contracted in 1312 BCE still be obligatory for us in the year of 2022?Abravanel responds to this issue and uses the analogy of children, who inherit parents property and thus also inherit debts. Even if a child was not alive when the debt was incurred, they are still liable to repay it. Similarly, G-d conferred several privileges for the Jewish people  (such as bringing the nation out of Egyptian slavery) and therefor were indebted to Him. 
However, this isn’t just a debt – we were given the land of Israel on a condition. On the condition that we keep Hashem close to us and follow the laws of the Torah, because we love Hashem and want to keep him close to us. Because each and every one of our souls were at Mount Sinai and thus we want to serve Hashem as best we can. This year, I have been given the opportunity to learn and grow in Israel and therefore I am privileged to connect with my heritage. Shabbat Shalom!