Dvar Torah Nitzavim Vayelech

The Sidra of Nitzavim is always read before Rosh Hashanah. (See Mishna Brurah 428;4 and Be’ur Halacha there s.v. Tisha Be’Av) The reason is because it deals with the subject of Teshuva. Since this year there is no Shabbat between Yom Kippur and Succot and only one Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Shabbat Shuva) when Ha’azinu is read, then Vayelech has to be combined with Nitzavim. for you to say, Who can ascend to the heaven for us and take it for us.” In a humorous way, Rabbi Tibor Stern of said if the Torah would be in heaven we would never get it because the Jews would never agree on who is eligible to go up and get it. That is why Moshe had to bring it down and give it to us. Indeed, it was a miracle that everyone agreed that Moshe should get the Torah and did not demand that there should be a representative of every tribe.The message, however, is that the Torah may seem out of reach for some people, too difficult to obey. Therefore we are told it is not beyond our reach. It is not in heaven; it is not over seas. But rather it is near you to be able to perform. Rabbi Soloveitchik used to say that if he were to write the Rambam’s 13 Principles of faith (ANI MA’AMIN), he would add a 14th which would read that “I believe that the Torah may be performed in all ages and under all conditions.”

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