Here we are. Rosh Hashana – Yom HaDin, the Judgment Day – is in a few days. And fortuitously, our parsha discusses our national teshuva. The first step in our national return and rehabilitation is a process of contemplation, of reflection and self-evaluation:
When all these things befall you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which the Lord your God has banished you, you will return to the Lord your God … and heed His command with all your heart and soul (30:1-2).
What is this “taking to heart” that stimulates the teshuva process? What is it that we are taking to heart? Rabbi Hirsch explains:
Only after all that has been said in this Book of the Law thousands of years beforehand concerning the state of blessing and curse which will form your future, will have actually occurred, will you then bring back to your mind the sum of the thousands of years of experience of your external fate and deliberate on it, and the result will be that you will come back with your whole heart and soul to your God and His Torah.
Click here to read more from Rabbi Alex Israel in this week’s Parsha Discussion on Nitzavim: Take it to Heart.
Please note that if you are printing The Parsha Discussion on US paper, please select the option “fit to print”.
Alex teaches Bible at Pardes and is the Director of the Community Education Program and the Summer Program. Alex was born and raised in London. He holds degrees from London School of Economics, the Institute of Education London and Bar-Ilan University. Alex studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion under Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and Rav Yehudah Amital, and gained Rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate. Click here to read more.