Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

Peoplehood, Responsibility, and Intentionality

In this week's Torah portion, Nitzavim, Moses is nearing the end of his speech to the Israelites, urging them to live righteously when they move across the Jordan River without him. He includes three beautiful passages that, together, capture essential aspects of Judaism: peoplehood, responsibility, and intentionality.

From Washington Heights to Jerusalem

This week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim, which is read on the Shabbat preceding Rosh HaShanah, is filled with images of awe, covenant, and an awareness of our place in the chain of generational continuity.  The words of this portion so illuminate and

The Tension Between Hubris and Humility

In its brief 40 verses, Parashat Nitzavim immediately presents us with tensions between confidence and condemnation, promise and punishment, and ultimately, between humility and hubris. Throughout the text of these two compact chapters—Deuteronomy 29 and 30—Moses consistently oscillates between inspiring the Israelites toward their future and forewarning them about their inherent (and perhaps inevitable) flaws.

Nitzavim for Teens: Shabbat Sha-raps

Open this parasha to hear how Moses tells the people that the covenant extends into the future, to people like you and me. He then warns them that they will be punished for sinning, and blessed for following laws. Listen in to learn more.