Nitzavim-Vayeilech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30, Parshat Hashavua for Shabbat, September 9, 2023

In one week we will stand together at the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and the start of another year. We welcome the Jewish new year with serious introspection, not with revelry. On Rosh Hashanah we recommit to being the best people we can. In the Jewish view of human development we are works in progress; on a path of growth and change. This week’s Torah portion begins with the words, “You stand this day, all of you, before your God —your tribal heads, your elders, and your officials, every householder in Israel. your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to waterdrawer—to enter into the covenant of your God.” (Deuteronomy 29:9-11) All of us stood together, before God, at Sinai. Not just those present on that day. All of us, to this present day. Our Torah portion asks us, what do we stand for, what are our values and commitments? Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to reflect on who we are and what we care about and then to put those commitments into action. In one week we will all stand together in the synagogue. As you prepare for that day, think about what you stand for when you stand with your community.