February 17, 2018


Parashat Nitsavim has been recited by Moses on his last day on earth in a physical body. According to the Kabbalists, on the day a great Tsadik (Righteous Sage) leaves the world, there is an revelation of Light of all that the Sage did in his life. The Light is so magnificent and intense that it leaves its imprint on the universe, and each and every year this Light re-emerges just as it did on the day of his passing. This day, therefore, is considered a day of celebration (Hillula), and our purpose is to connect to that energy in order to transcend and ascend to the Upper Worlds.

Recited just before Rosh HaShana (the New Year), Parashat Nitsavim gives us the energy of Moses to ascend to the Source of life, connect directly to the Light of the Creator and receive all of the abundance that He wants to bestow upon us.

The Parasha opens with the words “You are standing this day all of you”. Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdichev interprets “You are standing”, as follows: When we stand in the presence of the Creator, we are to appeal to His Hesed, and not for what we believe is our right to get, since there is no limit to what we can receive as the mercy of the Creator is infinite.

This concept fits in with the essence of the New Year, which allows us to begin everything anew, from Beresheet, the Beginning. As such, it is clear that the Almighty wants for us to begin and receive the vast abundance from Him just as he wants to give to us, not what we think is rightfully ours that is in accordance with our deeds of the past year. Parashat Nitsavim enables us to practice leaving behind our “false self” in preparation for Rosh HaShana. We leave behind who we think we are; we let go of all the misconceptions and false beliefs about ourselves, and recreate ourselves.

This is also the core meaning of the month of Elul, whose sign is Virgo. We can connect to our untainted, pure inner self and fulfill who we were meant to be before all the outside influences permeated us.

Rosh HaShana lets us begin again, and Parashat Nitsavim gives us the opportunity to purify ourselves in preparation for the coming year, to choose life and renounce the curse. We arrive as a clean slate, and stand before the Creator, ready to relinquish the troubles and burdens of the past and start anew. In the verse before the last in the first reading of the Parasha it is written: “And the Lord uprooted them from their land, with fury, anger and great wrath, and He cast them (וַיַּשְׁלִכֵם) to another land, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 29:27). There are three sizes of letters in the Torah, small, medium and large. Most of the Torah is written in medium sized letters. The Zohar explains that the small letters represent the Sephira of Malkhut, the medium size letters represent the Zeir Anpin, and the large ones represent Bina. These are the three levels between which we leap back and forth. The letter “ל” (Lamed) is the only letter in the Hebrew alphabet that reaches upwards above the top line, connecting us to the Sephira of Bina, the Source of abundance and blessing. Even from within the depths of the harsh reality described in the verse, there is a channel of connection through the Sephira of Bina. According to Sefer Yetsira (the Book of Formation), The letter Lamed is also the letter which created the astrological sign of Libra and the Hebrew month of Tishrei, the first month of the year. Parashat Nitsavim is always being read just before the Holidays of Tishrei that connect us to the Sephira of Bina and the infinite repository of life’s abundance, thus preparing us for our renewal.

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