Stand Up!

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A WEEKLY TORAH THOUGHT FROM RABBI MORDY

There is so much to contemplate in this week’s Parsha (Netzavim), especially considering how short it is. It is as though, knowing that the High Holy Days are approaching, we are receiving extra material just in case we are unwilling or unable to do our own reflecting. So, we are commanded to stand (the translation of the word “Netzavim”) together in unity, regardless of our individual status, mindful that each and every one of us makes up a part of a whole. We are told that the Torah is not a far off, lofty intellectual study guide but that it is meant to be taken practically. We are reminded about the final redemption and another vitally important lesson, freedom of choice, which enjoins us to “choose life.”

If we are to sum up the Parsha, we would need to do so by its very name: Netzavim. Stand. The parsha enumerates great principles but they must be more than intellectual ideals. They must be internalized such that we stand up for them. We need to stand together as one with unity and ground ourselves as we make plans for the year ahead. Sure, we may be eager to get moving and to turn the page, but we first need to clarify what we stand for and stand up for it. Just as we must stand before we walk, we need to make that first effort—to establish our core values and our unwavering commitment to them—so that we can then take the proper steps to live by these values. So let us get ready for Rosh Hashanah; let us prepare for the year to come and hope and pray that it is infinitely better than last year. But let us also take a moment to stand. Let us reaffirm our values and what we are put on this world to accomplish. By doing that, G-d willing, we will ensure that the coming year – 5780 – will be a year filled with health, happiness and all good things. Good Shabbos and Shanah Tovah!

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