Parshat Netzavim-Vayelech

(Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30)

(Isaiah 61:10-63:9)

1. [30:2] “And you will return to God, and you will listen to His voice…” The Torah values someone who returns to God. The Talmud tells us that someone who returns to God is greater than someone who was always righteous. In what ways is one who returns greater, and what causes this greatness?

2. [30:20] “To love the L-rd your G-d… for He is your life…” The Maharal, R. Judah Loew of Prague (1525-1609), believes that the love of God and the love of man are natural qualities in people. In other words, this pasuk is saying, “Let your natural love come out of you, and you will love God”. Do you agree or disagree with the Maharal on this point?

3. [Haftara: Hosea 14:3] “Take words with you and return to God…”  Why does one need words to return to God? Isn’t tshuvah an experience which is above words?

4. [Slichot] On the night after Shabbat, we begin saying Slichot, and then we say them in the early morning on most days until Yom Kippur. In the Slichot, we ask God to forgive us, “for the sake of Your name…for the glory of Your name”. What does it mean that God should forgive us for the sake or the glory of His name?

5. [Slichot] “The soul is yours and the body is your work…” On Saturday night, September 20, we begin saying slichot in order to prepare for Rosh Hashana and tshuvah. Why do we say, “The soul is yours and the body is your work…”? It would seem that this does not make us more responsible, it puts all the focus on God. How does saying this prepare us for tshuvah?


Every sin places a specific anxiety into the spirit, which only goes away through tshuvah. In proportion to the depth of the tshuvah, this fear is transformed into self-assurance and personal strength.

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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