Forethoughts and Afterthoughts.
Commentary on the weekly Torah reading.
In memory of Father, Yosef Ben Zelig.
March 25th 1911 - May 2nd 2008
In memory of Mother, Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh.
June 9th 1925 - April 16th 2003
In memory of Uncle, Moshe Binyamin Ben Tzvi Hirsh.
December 12 1929 - February 2nd 2010
In Loving Memory of Moreinu Horav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh HaYeshiva Ner Yisroel
Chukas (Numbers 19-22)
Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29-30)
29:9 You are standing before Hashem your G-D, your leaders, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, every man of Israel.
The Hebrew word for standing can be 'Omdim' or 'Nitzavim.'
The word 'Omdim' can be used for humans as well as for animals.
The word 'Nitzavim' emphasizes an upright position that is unique to humans and heavenly beings.
The Ohr P'nei Moshe commentary suggests that the 'standing before Hashem your G-D' is a reference to our standing before G-D in judgment in the coming days, on Rosh Hashanah.
We must prepare ourselves beforehand so that our lives are viewed in heavenly judgment as having been lived within a framework that is unique to humans and heavenly beings, nothing less.
The Chamudei Tzvi commentary adds by first taking note that this verse lists several distinguished groups and ends with 'every man of Israel.'
Why is it not sufficient to just say that every man is standing before G-D? Why does the Torah need to delineate the leaders, tribes, elders, and officers?
He notes that it is inconsistent for us to stand before G-D in an upright position if we are spiritually incomplete.
And as we all have strengths and weaknesses, how can we all stand in a manner before G-D that suggests otherwise?
The answer is that we can only do so if we stand before G-D as one people, under a common leadership, not as individuals or as a collection of fragments.
In the merit of achieving this harmony, Heaven is able to apply the strengths of one person against the deficiencies of another.
May we all merit to have a good judgment and to see the goodness of G-D's judgment.
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