by Annice Benamy
"You are standing, all of you, before Adonai your God—your leaders, your tribes, your elders, your officials, every person in Israel; your wives, your children, and the stranger in the midst of your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water—so that you may pass into the covenant of Adonai your God…and not with you alone do I make this covenant and this oath, but with he who is present, standing here with us today before Adonai our God, and with him who is not here with us today." Deut. 29:9-11 and 13-14
Parashat Nitzavim (meaning “stand”) lays down a foundation for Judaism in that the Torah is declared valid for all generations and to every member of the community. Women and men, officials and laborers, those standing before Moses and future generations commit to uphold the terms of the covenant. The people are reminded to love God with all their hearts and souls and must fulfill their part of the covenant through their loyalty to God and God’s teachings. God gave each individual and the entire community two clear choices: life and prosperity or death and adversity.