Nitzavim & VaYelekh

Sep 26, 1997 Fri, Elul 24, 5757; Sunset: 7:23pm
Torah: Deut 29:9- 31:30; Haftorah: Isaiah 61:10- 63:9
(c)1997 Rabbi David Markel Hall


You stand* this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, Your little ones, your wives, and your stranger that is in your camp, from the hewer of your wood unto the drawer of your water: That you should enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into his oath, which the LORD your God makes with you this day: That he may establish** you this day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto you a God, as he has said unto you, and as he has sworn unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Deut 29:9-13 (verses 10-14 in KJV)

*Stand: Nitzavim means to stand up as to erect or establish. Therefore the feeling is to have all the house of Israel, excluding none, establish themselves before G-d as a special people by choosing His covenant so he may establish** us for a people unto Himself.

**Establish: hakiym means confirm or establish and is preceded by the direct article "the".

This entire chain of words, in Hebrew, is signified repeatedly with the sign of the direct object. Here is a portion of the chain in Hebrew.

L'maan hakiym-ot'cha hayom ...

The red bolded characters indicate the sign of the direct object. The dash character is called a maquef and is used within construct chains to indicate that if one of the words in the chain is direct, all the words in the chain are direct. In normal usage only one of the words uses the sign of the direct object. In this case, both words contain signs of direct object and therefore the entire chain receives extra emphasis of the direct indicator. Additionally, hayom "the day" places the emphasis on now, causing it to be translated "this day".

The sign of the direct object, "et" which in this case is pronounced "ot" and is attached to chof sofit, "cha" means emphatically and directly "YOU and no other!" Here, "ot" is related to "ot" which is accusative and is often translated "to consent or agree". Keep in mind that alef and tov together reveal the messiah (Rev 1:8,11) so there is a special "you" attached to Messiah in this context. My perception of this is that those who chose to establish themselves individually with the covenant, were established by G-d as His chosen people. Choosing to stand in agreement with this covenant is the equivalent of attaching oneself to the messiah. Baruch haShem!

G-d did not overlook anyone. Males, females, and children who were sons of Abraham were all included in this covenant. Additionally, the "strangers in the camp", i.e. not sons of Abraham who chose to stand with Israel, were chosen by G-d. This is reinforced in verses 13,14 (14,15) "Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that stands here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:" G-d made plans for us to be included in His covenant and He chose us also as His people. Baruch HaShem!

Return to Davarim Index