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Parashat Shabbat Nitzavim Readings and Commentary

Deuteronomy 29:10-30:20; Isaiah 61:10-63:9

With The Burning Bush the story of Moses began, today we are approaching the end of his farewell-story. In German Synagogues it’s usal to sing a farewell Sabbath Song, the „Adon Olam“, at the end of every Shabbatmorning ministry in order to protect us from forgetting that He is the „Lord of the Universe“ when we are back in our homes▼

Commentary by Michael Schneider, Jerusalem:
It is common that these two weekly Torah portions are read together on a Shabbat. Further, this Shabbat the 25th Elul is als in Judaism marked as the first Day of Creation of the universe – and six days later at the creation of man we celebrate the New Year 5768.
We approaching Moses’ farewell speech before the leaders of the tribes. In our reading we find a confirmation of validity and eternity in the promises to Moses, the humble servant of God as in verses 14 and 15: „Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath… but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God and with those who are not with us here today.” A eternal covenant!“then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.” (30:3)

In the same chapter the Lord of hosts says that His commandments are not ‘Mission Impossible’ caliber, but can be reached. As a believer I understand, that God’s commands can be observed. We do not need to travel across continents and countries, even not to so-called revival conferences to experience God and His will – for His ‘Word is very near’ – to your mouth and your heart!

It was assured from then that the Good News, God’s divine word, would be spread all over the globe and no one would need to travel to experience salvation or healing.

„See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity!” (verse 15) This is the LORD’s same proclamation to man today. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people…” (Isaiah 65:2).

Moses pled and hopes that his people, who he knew well for 40 years, would “choose life, and therefore live… between life and death, blessing and curse, that I have set before you” (30:19). It is also set before us today!



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