Torah Weekly

For the week ending 24 September 2022 / 28 Elul 5782

Parshat Nitzavim

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair - www.seasonsofthemoon.com
Library Library Library

PARSHA INSIGHTS

Allegiance to the Crown

…you shall read this Torah before all Yisrael, in their ears.” (31:11)

An interesting synchronicity takes place this year: When the holy Beit HaMikdash stood, on the first day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot following the Shemitta year (as is this year) the entire nation was commanded to come together at the Beit HaMikdash to hear the king read from the Torah. The theme of the passages that the king reads firstly reflects allegiance to G-d, secondly, G-d’s covenant with the Jewish People, and thirdly, reward and punishment.

The theme of all three is loyalty: Allegiance and loyalty are synonymous; a covenant is none other than a formalized expression of an allegiance; and reward and punishment express the outcome of that allegiance.

At some time in the coming year, King Charles III, will be crowned in an elaborate ceremony.

The entire nation will pledge allegiance to the new monarch.

The enormous outpouring of grief and love for the late Queen Elizabeth II showed how much a people need a focus for its nationhood, to show allegiance to the person of the monarch. The Jewish People also has a focus of its national allegiance in the king, but the king expresses his kingship through this mitzvah of Hakhel – the reading of the Torah at the Beit HaMikdash.

The eternal allegiance of the Jewish People to each other and with G-d is through the Torah. This is what makes us unique among the nations. When a nation bonds through allegiance to its monarch, it is only through him or her as a figurehead of the nation. A Jewish king bonds that nation to the Torah in an eternal allegiance to the King of Kings.

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