It is Reform tradition to read the Nitzavim Torah portion during the Shacharit (morning) service on Yom Kippur. The tradition stems from the belief that standing before God with great awe and fear is not just the solitary appearance of an individual before their Creator, but also of a community who, together, are appealing to God for forgiveness and absolution before the gates of heaven close.
Each year, my family and I sign up for a farm share (where a portion of a farm's produce is purchased up front, before it is grown each season, in exchange for boxes of seasonal produce throughout the farming season) in our local community.
The chapters of Shof'tim and Ki Teitzei focus on laws and justice. Last week, in Shof'tim, we read the iconic words: " Tzedek, tzedek tirdof" (justice, justice shall you pursue) (Deuteronomy 16:20). In both Shof'tim and Ki Teitzei, we're urged to pursue justice, to run after it, and to chase it down.
Sometimes, when reality becomes so overwhelming, looking at the Torah reminds us that everything that is happening has already occurred in the past. That's exactly how Shof’tim starts.