Parsha Q&A - Nitzavim / Vayelech
Parshas Nitzavim / Vayelech
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- What is the connection between the verse "Atem nitzavim" and the curses in the previous parsha?
- Who are the wood-choppers and water-carriers?
- Why can Hashem never 'swap' the Jewish people for another nation?
- One who ignores the Torah's warnings "adds drunkenness to thirst (29:18)." What does this mean?
- What two cities were destroyed along with S'dom and Amorah?
- "The hidden things are for Hashem, our G-d, and the revealed things are for us...." What does this mean?
- According to Rashi, how will the day of the ingathering of the exiles be 'great and difficult?'
- Where is the Torah 'not to be found?' Where is it to be found?
- When and where did the Jewish People become culpable for each other's sins (areivim zeh lazeh)?
- How do the earth and sky remind us to keep the mitzvos?
- Moshe said, "I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in...." How do we know that this does NOT refer to physical inability?
- Which of Moshe's statements to Yehoshua was later contradicted by Hashem's command?
- Why does the Torah (31:10 ) refer to the Sukkos of the eighth year as though it occurred during the Shemita year?
- Why does the Torah command that babies be brought to hear the Torah being read?
- What does it mean that Hashem 'hides His face' from the Jewish People?
- What function does the song Ha'azinu serve?
- Which verse promises that the Torah will never be totally forgotten from the Jewish People?
- What is the difference of opinion regarding the placing of the Torah scroll which Moshe gave the Levi'im?
- On the day of Moshe's death, he didn't gather the people by blowing trumpets as he normally would have. Why not?
- Moshe said "For I know that after my death you will act corruptly...(31:29)," but, in fact, this didn't occur until after Yehoshua's death. What does this teach us?
A covenant was made between Hashem and "those
standing here with us today - in front of Hashem, our G-d - and
those NOT here with us today (i.e., future generations)."
How can future generations be obligated by a covenant which they
never entered into?
The first letters of the words "Mi Ya'aleh Lanu Hashamaimah" - who will go up to the heavens for us? - spell 'mila' (circumsicion). The last letters spell Hashem's name. Bris Mila prepares a person for his heavenly climb towards Gdliness.
All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated
- 29:12 - The Jewish People asked, "Who can survive such curses?" Moshe comforted them, saying, "You've done a lot to anger Hashem, and yet - 'atem nitzavim' - Hashem didn't destroy you ... you're still standing before Him."
- 29:10 - Canaanites who joined the Jewish People under false pretenses.
- 29:12 - Because Hashem swore to their ancestors that He would never do so.
- 29:18 - He causes Hashem to reckon his unintentional sins alongside his intentional ones, punishing him for all.
- 29:22 - Admah and Tsevoyim.
- 29:28 - There is collective culpability only for 'open' sins, but not for 'hidden' ones.
- 30: 3 - It will be as if Hashem needs to take each individual by the hand and lead him out of exile.
- 30:12-15 - The Torah is not found in heaven nor across the ocean. Rather, it is "...very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart to do it."
- 30:28 - When they crossed the Jordan and accepted the oath on Mt. Eval and Mt. Grizim.
- 30:19 - The earth and heavenly bodies - although receiving neither reward nor punishment - always 'obey' Hashem's will. How much more should we - who stand to receive reward or punishment - obey Hashem.
- 31:2 - Because verse 34:7 says "His (Moshe's) eye never dimmed, and his (youthful) moisture never departed."
- 31:7 - Moshe told Yehoshua to share his leadership with the Elders. Hashem later commanded Yehoshua to rule alone.
- 31:10 - Because the halachos of the seventh year (Shemita) still apply to the harvest.
- 31:12 - To give reward to those who bring them.
- 31:17 - He ignores their distress.
- 31:21 - It warns what will befall the Jewish People if they abandon Torah.
- 31:21 - "...For it (the Torah) will not be forgotten from the mouth of their offspring...."
- 31:26 - Whether it was placed outside but adjacent to the Ark, or inside, next to the Tablets.
- 31:28 - Blowing the trumpets was an expression of Moshe's dominion, and "There is no dominion on the day of death." (Koheles 8)
- 31:29 - That a person's student is as dear to him as himself - As long as Yehoshua was alive, it was as though Moshe himself were alive.
The souls of all future generations - although not physically "here with us today" - exist nevertheless "in front of Hashem, our G-d." These yet unborn souls entered the covenant, along with the rest of the Jewish People.
Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Lev Seltzer
HTML Design: Eli Ballon
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