Sources for exploring the Torah portion, Nitzavim, Deut 29:9-30:20 — also spelled Nitsavim and Netzavim, sometimes Nitzabim or Nesabim. Nitzavim is next read in the Diaspora beginning with minchah September 21, through Shabbat September 28.
This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”
Great Sources: Choice Gifts
Something to Notice: There and Not
Language and Translation: Niphleiot
A Path to Follow: To Turn
You are ALL Standing with Ariel Samson: Freelance Rabbi &Co
This portion contains oft-quoted verses about Torah’s accessibility:
Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” No the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.Continue Reading
…Rabbi Mordechai Joseph Leiner of Izbica interpreted the verse “Then the Lord your God will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live (Deuteronomy 30:6) to indicate that God doesn’t want us to neutralize our passion, but to channel it into the service of committed, ethical, godly living. Only thus, claimed the nineteenth-century Hasidic master, can we model engaged, sanctified life that can enliven both us and our descendants.
— from “A Few Choice Gifts,” by Howard Avruhm Addison. p.294, Continue Reading
For this commandment that I command you today — it is not hidden [lo-niphleiot] from you and it is not distant. (Stone)
Robert Alter points out, in a note to verse 30:1, that “the term ‘turn back’ (shuv, reiterated in this chapter) is the thematic center of this passage, alternating between Israel and God in dialectic interplay.”