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The Weekly Aliyot
Providing a short summary of the Torah portion read
in the Synagogue on Shabbat.
You are encouraged to read the complete Torah portion of the week,
with the complete Rashi, in a real Chumash.


Nitzavim

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  Ki-SavoVayelech  

This week's parsha begins with the words: "Atem nitzavim hayom" meaning: "You stand this day". "This day" refers to Rosh Hashanah, and "You stand" means you will be vindicated. In the book "Hayom Yom" it says in the entry for the 25th of Elul that this parsha that we're reading today is read the Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah, and these words in this Torah reading today are blessing us that we will be vindicated on the day of Judgment.


The first aliyah begins by Moshe saying the Jews have now entered into a covenant with G-d.


In the second aliyah Moshe adds that not just the Jews Moshe is talking to are entered into the covenant with G-d, but all future generations of Jews, as well.


In the third aliyah Moshe warns the Jews that in Egypt and in their subsequent travels they have been exposed to all sorts of idol worship. Therefore, in case there be any among the them that are tempted to serve strange gods, they will suffer from all the dreaded curses read last week, in parsha Ki Savo. Moshe then prophesizes that a future generation will be exiled and the land will be cursed because of these curses.


In the fourth aliyah the Torah explicitly says that after we experience the blessings and the curses and find ourselves in exile scattered among the nations (as we are now), we will wholeheartedly return to G-d, and G-d will gather us from the furthest reaches of the heavens and bring us back to the land of Israel to live (may this happen speedily in our days). Rashi says that G-d Himself will return with us because He is in exile with us, and that G-d will individually take each person by the hand and redeem them. At the end of the aliyah the Torah says that G-d will remove the barrier to our hearts so that we will love Him.


The fifth aliyah continues the description what it will be like at the time of the gathering of the exiles when the Jewish people return to G-d and His Torah with all their heart and soul.

It says here that there will be abundance in the work of our hands, the fruit of our wombs, the fruit of our land, and the fruit of our livestock. Needless to say, this is describing what it will be like in the days of Moshiach, which are close at hand.


The sixth aliyah states that the Torah is very accessible to us, that it is not in heaven but right here, written down and orally. And the Torah says here that the Torah is "ki korov ailecha hadavor me-ode, b'ficho, uvilvovecho, la-oso-so". Which means: "For it is exceedingly near to you, in your mouth and your heart, to do." This line is thoroughly explained by the Tanya, the written Torah of Chabad Chassidus, by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi.


In the seventh aliyah Moshe tells the Jewish people that they have been given free choice to choose between good and evil, which is the choice between life and death. They should choose life by loving G-d and obeying Him.

A K'siva V'Chasima Tova


  Ki-SavoVayelech  

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