HAVE A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND SWEET NEW YEAR - L'SHANA TOVA TIKATEVU

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Nitzavim

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

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PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: NONE
Some count the mitzvah of T'shuva (repentance) from this Parsha.

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 40

NUMBER OF WORDS: 657

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 2575

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
After Parshat Vayeilech
Yeshayahu / Isaiah 61:10 - 63:9 שוש אשיש
This is the last of seven Haftorot, - the שבע דנחמתא - the Seven Haftorot of Consolation, that precede Rosh HaShana).

This week we study Chapters 5 & 6 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers"

Rosh HaShana is Thursday and Friday, September 21 & 22.

Tzom Gedaliah is Sunday, September 24.


פרשת נצבים
THE
PARSHA
In our last episode Moshe warned the Bnei Yisroel of the consequences of abandoning the Torah: losing the land, exile, famine - about 98 different punishments! (in addition to the 49 previously mentioned in Vayikra, Parshat Bechukotai).

As our Parsha opens, the Bnei Yisroel are freaked out! How can Hashem expect the nation to be perfect? Moshe replies that a little punishment is good for the soul. You see, in the big picture there's this world and there's "Olam Habah," - the world to come. When a Jew sins, Hashem punishes him in this world so that his Neshoma (soul) will be pure for Olam Habah. It may seem harsh when there is famine or exile, but this world is only a front for the great reward of Olam Habah.


THE
NEW
DEAL

It is the seventh day of Adar. By the time night falls, the nation will mourn the loss of its greatest leader. Moshe announces to the nation that he is going to make a new treaty between Bnei Yisroel and Hashem.

The new treaty is needed because the generation that was at Har (Mt.) Sinai had already passed on and Moshe wanted this new generation to promise to keep the Torah. But the Bnei Yisroel must swear that they will be Hashem's people forever. From now on every Jew, in every generation, will be responsible for himself and his fellow Jew.


IDOLIZING
IDOLS

Just in case anyone thinks that you can pay "lip service" to Hashem by announcing that you accept the Torah while, in your heart, you're a "Ra, god of Egypt" fan - forget it! Hashem is very jealous when it comes to idol worship! Thoughts definitely count and all punishments are on! If Bnei Yisroel serves idols, Hashem will burn out the earth of Eretz Yisroel like He did to S'dom. Nothing will grow in the land and there will be terrible famine.

When the Bnei Yisroel are exiled from the land they will ask why Hashem has abandoned them. The only answer there can be is that the Jews have abandoned Hashem. Moshe makes it clear that if a Jew secretly believes in idols, Hashem will single him out for punishment. But if a Jew is seen serving idols, he must be brought to justice otherwise the entire nation will be punished.


THE
GEULAH
GLITCH

Even if Hashem sends the Bnei Yisroel into Galut (exile), the Jews must know that Hashem will not stay angry forever. Galut is Hashem's way of pushing the Jews to do Teshuvah.

How much of a push? If the Jews do Teshuvah on their own, the exile will go easily. The longer Bnei Yisroel pushes off Teshuvah, the harder the Galut will get. When Hashem brings the nation out of exile, all curses will transfer to their enemies and Bnei Yisroel will be "blessed for success!"


KEEPING
IT
CLOSE
TO THE
HEART

The secret to Teshuvah is Torah study. No excuses like "it's too hard" or "I'm not superman" accepted. We all have a Yetzer Hara (evil urge) to deal with. Don't think that you're alone, though; there are yetzer horas in all generations. Just remember that the Torah is instilled into the heart of every Jew; it is a part of us just waiting to be brought to the surface. If you put your whole heart into it, the Torah will come to life and be a life giving wellspring.

CHOOSE
LIFE

Moshe says it the way it is: You can keep the Torah or abandon the Torah; that's your choice. No one can force you to be a tzadik if you don't want to be one. But just remember the consequences of abandoning the Torah: If you lack it in life you lose it in Olam Habah. Moshe makes a final plea: "Choose life! The path of life is to love Hashem and listen to His voice!
Tune in to the next Parsha as Moshe makes his final preps before the sun goes down in the next exciting episode of:
Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Maven on Nitzavim


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