Blog Single Post

Dvar for Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20)

It was the morning of the 7th of Adar, 2488. No one has slept this past night knowing that this was to be Moshe’s last day. All night long, in silent dread, we have stood waiting, crying, and wondering. What will we do? How will we go on? Moshe our Teacher is about to die and there is nothing we can do about it. All night long we have been gathered around Moshe’s tent as he instructed the great Yehoshua (Joshua). Oh that we have reached this fateful day.

But wait! Yehoshua is coming out. Look at his face… It seems to glow with a light as bright as the shine of the moon in a dark starry night. What has happened? Where is Moshe? Suddenly an expectant hush falls over all of us. There must be more than 3 million people here. Tribal heads, members of the Sanhedrin (supreme court), dignitaries, men, women and children.

The great Yehoshua turns to the tent’s entrance and bows his head. There he is – It is Moshe! The simple joy and love that emanates from his smile as he looks out upon all of us is magical. Each and every one of us feels the sadness and dread drain away. What regal bearing! What majesty. Even with the veil we can sense the celestial power of his radiance. We must remember this moment.

But wait… It looks like Moshe is going to lift the veil. He’s about to speak. His voice seems to be carried as if on the wind itself. It’s an ageless voice that resonates with the echoes of Sinai. If G-d had a voice, it would be the voice of Moshe our Teacher. We must listen very carefully. There are his final words; today is Moshe’s final day. And so our Parsha begins… “Today you are all standing… your leaders, your law enforcers, every Israelite man, your children, your women. even your wood cutters and water carriers.” (29:9)

Shlomo Ressler