Parshat Netzavim

(Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20)

(Isaiah 61:10-63:9)

  1. [29:9] “You are all standing today in front of God—your leaders, your tribes…” Moshe says that all are standing in front of God today to be part of the covenant. Then he mentions all parts of the people specifically. What purpose is served by mentioning each part of the people separately, after we are told that all the people are being addressed?
  1. [Haftara: Isaiah 63:8] “For He (God) said, ‘Certainly they are my children, they will not lie.’ So He was their saviour”. God is our savior because we would not lie to Him. Why is lying to someone considered a serious betrayal, even if the lie is about something relatively unimportant?
  1. [Haftara: Isaiah 63:9] “In all their pain, He was pained…”   Isn’t God higher than pain. What does it mean when we are told that God is in pain when the Jews are in pain?
  2. [pre-Rosh Hashana] There are 2 types of tshuvah (return or repentance)– tshuvah as a result of fear (heavenly punishment) and tshuvah as a result of love (love of God, of truth, of goodness). The Talmud tells us that when a person makes tshuvah from fear, his or her intentional sins are erased, but when a person makes tshuvah from love, his or her sins become merits. What psychological process would make a person’s sins become merits?
  3. [Rosh Hashana] Rav Kuk tells us that if a person returns to God, but does not return to his or her authentic self, then this is a false tshuvah. Why is this tshuvah false if the person returned to God?


The main ”listening to the voice of God”, is when one pays attention to the whole process of life in all of its details…The more the details seem to be coming from an elevated spiritual place…in a clear way, the more a person hears with clarity the voice of God speaking to him—teaching and commanding.

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

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And 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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