In last week’s parsha, Moshe warned the Jewish people of all the curses and affliction they would endure, if they transgressed the Torah; however, he reminded them that despite the curses and affliction they would face, the suffering would ultimately benefit them (hardships develop people) and they would still survive despite the suffering. This is truly a remarkable quality the Jewish people have developed. When the Jews suffer, they look at their suffering as an opportunity to grow, to learn, and to understand what message Hashem is trying to get through to them, thus they strengthen their relationship with Him; however, throughout history we have seen that when the gentiles suffer, they deny God.
Moreover, this week’s parsha, Nitzavim, continues with Moshe speaking to Bnai Israel telling them that they need to make a new covenant with Hashem as they enter the land of Israel.
The parsha continues with Moshe telling the people, “This day resembles the day of the giving of the Torah. God is entering with you a new covenant, to which He binds you with an oath.”
The Jewish people already received the Torah at Mount Sinai and made a covenant with Hashem, why is Hashem making a new covenant with them upon their arrival in Israel? Living isolated in the desert for forty years allowed the Jews to become completely dependent upon Hashem, which could have coerced them to keep His Torah so full heartedly. However, now that the Jewish people were about to enter the fully abundant land of Israel, there was a danger that they would start becoming lax about their observance of the mitzvot. Therefore, Hashem wanted the Jewish people to reinstate their covenant with Him, to signify the important of observing His Torah no matter what the circumstances.
Does this not sound familiar to you? We are fortunate enough to live in a land where all our needs are met. Who ever thought such a day would come, where we have an abundance of food, water, supplies, etc. Unfortunately, we have been plagued with becoming too lax in our Torah observance because we have become more self-reliant than any generation before us. With Rosh Hashanah buzzing around the corner, this should be a time for us all to reinstate our covenant with Hashem.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, and work on reinstating our relationship with Hashem, we should ask ourselves the following:
‘Am I happy with where I am spiritually, religiously, and psychologically?’
‘What accomplishments have I made since last year?’
‘What areas can I work on this year?’
This Shabbot we end the year, and on Sunday we will embark upon a new journey, a year where we can fill in any gaps that need filling, rekindle our bond to Hashem, develop our internal consciousness, and see clearly where our shortcomings were this past year and how we can develop those shortcomings into our newfound strengths.
May we end this year on a positive note, understanding that all the growth, we did or didn’t make, developed us into the person we are today. We should applaud ourselves on the personal growth we did make but also take notice to all the areas that we still need to develop. So let us jump up in excitement for the new year where we can reinstate our covenant with the holy One above! Shabbot Shalom and Shana Tova!